Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced negotiations between Google and Australia’s biggest publishers “a world first” for paying real journalism.
Deals between Google and publishers announced this week are good, even though Parliament has not yet passed a code forcing tech giants and media companies to the negotiating table.
To force firms like Facebook and Google to negotiate with media companies, the government has proposed the code. This code is specially designed to assure that media houses are paid for using their content on social media platforms and search engines.
Mr Frydenberg said agreements between Google and news creators “will help sustain public interest journalism in this country for years to come.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg greet agreement this week, also reported agreements covering major players Seven West Media and Nine.
He said, “Things I have heard from parties in both the digital platforms and news media business is that these are real deals. They are good deals, and fair deals for Australian media businesses, agreements that they are making off their own bat with the digital giants.”
“Of course they are complex, they are of different lengths, are certainly going to be of another quantum, they are different, but as I know it they are good deals, and they are fair deals.”
Labours support government’s moves; it means the legislation will probably pass next week in Parliament. But Mr Frydenberg thinks a series of deals declared by Google gives the legislation’s threat is already working. He disclosed on Monday that he talked to Facebook and Google executives and Mark Zuckerberg, over the weekend. And on Tuesday, the government announced tweaks to the code.
However, when asked on Wednesday if he had watered down the legislation following these discussions, Mr Frydenberg said the government had “held the position and held it well.” Google has signed deals with big media players, and there are concerns that smaller players will be left behind.
“I expected announcement of more deals, which are involving smaller players, ” he said.
Mr Frydenberg said, “we have already made it clear to Google, having a default offer in place for some of those smaller players is important as well.”
He said, “I know they are working in good faith and constructively on that.”
And earlier the week, a deal was announced by Seven West Media having worth $30 million with Google. Nine newspapers still have to confirm the deal formally.