Facebook has once again shown the Australian Government that it cares little about any edicts Canberra may have issued, snubbing SBS and The Conversation when they sought deals with the social media giant under the news media content legislation.
The telecommunications industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has opened applications for Australian news businesses wishing to register for the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.
Social media giant Facebook has agreed to restore Australian news content in "coming days" after the Federal Government made additional amendments to the news media code bill that is currently in the Senate.
More Australian media deals with Google's News Showcase appear to be in the offing, aided by some government sweeteners, with a number of news publishers reported to be in discussions with the online advertising giant set to finalise agreements before the Australian Parliament passes the news media code into law.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said he expects to see "some significant commercial deals" between Australian news publishers and digital platforms before the government votes on its news media code which is currently before Parliament.
The Federal Government is likely to give Google and Facebook a major concession before it puts its news media code legislation up for a vote, with a clause that says the two companies do not have to cut deals with publishers under the law if they can convince them to sign up to their news products.
With the time for changes to be made to the news media code rapidly running out, Google, one of the digital platforms that will be affected, has turned to a Fox News-style tactic: using the "some people are saying" line to draw attention to what are claimed issues with the Code.
The news media code will be considered in Parliament in the week beginning 15 February after the Senate Economics Legislation Committee submitted its report on the bill to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friday evening.
A Senate committee that has held public hearings into the Federal Government's news media code is unlikely to propose any changes to the bill before it.
Google has refused to rule out the possibility that it will pull other services apart from search from Australia in the event that the Federal Government goes ahead and legislates its News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code which was introduced into Parliament in December last year.
The US Government has asked Australia to drop its move for a news media code to make it compulsory for digital platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay local news organisations for using material from their publications.
The next move in the battle over the news media code lies with the government, after Google essentially said on Friday that nothing in the law that was introduced in Parliament on 9 December was workable.
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".
The Federal Government has blown a chance it had to implement a world-leading deal with digital giants Google and Facebook, backing down even before the bill for its so-called News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code was introduced into Parliament. The digital platforms will be breaking out the Dom Pérignon in Silicon Valley over the way they have clinically neutered Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
The Coalition Government will introduce the news media code, known as News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, into Parliament on Wednesday.
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