The Federal Government appears to be trying to remove the need for passing the news media code legislation by encouraging, and helping, media companies to join up to Google News Showcase.
Search behemoth Google, which is trying to muscle the Australian Government into accepting a news media code devised by itself, has contradicted its own threat to pull out of the market by slyly approaching smaller news organisations and trying to cut deals on its (Google's) terms.
It will be interesting to see who blinks first in the tussle between the digital platforms and the Australian Government: Google and Facebook or Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Search giant Google has rejected the Australian news media code which was introduced into Parliament on 9 December, saying it "remains unworkable, but there is a way forward".
Australian news businesses that are arguing for a news media code to ensure that digital platforms pay for their content are trying to turn back time and make the Internet much less open and its business models less diverse, the Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, a Google vice-president and Internet Evangelist, claims.
With Parliament having just another eight days to sit this year, the bosses of Australia's media organisations have sought to pressure politicians into getting the promised news media code passed before they rise for the year on 10 December.
After a long silence, Google has once again spoken up on the news media code that is expected to be finalised by 10 December, reiterating that it will only accept a code that is "fair, principled and technically feasible".
Is one mistaken or is Google now resigned to the introduction of a mandatory code that will force it to negotiate with Australian news publishers over payment terms?
Search company Google has reiterated its objection to the proposed Australian mandatory news media code, repeating that it would put on hold any plans to implement its so-called news showcase in Australia until the matter of the code is resolved.
Google has held out a nice, juicy carrot overnight, hoping that Australia will bite and agree to the terms that it wants for the media code that is being negotiated with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Google has come out of the blocks firing early in the week, with the company's Australia and New Zealand managing director Melanie Silva penning another op-ed for that friend of commercial entities, the Australian Financial Review, trying to again argue the case for the company not to be tied down by a mandatory code that governs payments to news publishers in this country.
For once, both Google and Facebook have been neatly shafted by the man who holds the country's purse strings: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
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