With the news media code now signed into law, it is time for all three entities involved in the drama that played out over the last few weeks — Google, Facebook and the Federal Government — to claim victory.
Nine Entertainment, owner of a number of well-known newspapers which it bought from the now defunct Fairfax Media, has signed a letter of intent for a five-year deal with Google in return for payment of more than $30 million in cash per annum for use of its news content.
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 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.
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.
The Vocus Group says it has granted Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Holdings and its managed funds access to conduct due diligence with a view to the latter following up on its non-binding, indicative offer to buy all the telco's shares at a price of $5.50 per share.
Thirty-five thousand Australian premises are yet to be connected to the national broadband network, but Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has declared that the network is "built and fully operational".
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.
Australia's Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has been talking up what she sees as the country's independence – after obeying a summons from the US to visit Washington for talks.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation managing director David Anderson has reiterated the organisation's changed stance towards Google and Facebook, telling the National Press Club during an address that it would be pushing for payment from these digital entities in the event that they are persuaded to part with cash.
The ABC has markedly changed its stance towards Google and Facebook, now that the ACCC is pushing for the digital platforms to pay news organisations for using their content.
A Windows ransomware expert has offered a word of caution to companies that have been hit, pointing out that such groups often created backdoors when they staged an attack.
Much is being made of the fact that the government has told the ACCC to draft a mandatory code to make Google and Facebook (among others) pay for using content from Australian news publishers. But has anyone thought of how the US Government would react to this?
China-bashing has been a popular sport in the Australian media this year, with retired spooks and Australian politicians indulging themselves. The main game appears to be for the spooks to gain influence in determining foreign policy and get the government to allocate more funds for their operations.
Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has given a hint as to how the Coalition Government would react to the digital platforms inquiry report which was handed over to it by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in July, claiming during a recent speech that the loss of revenue suffered by traditional media due to the dominance of digital technology firms like Google and Facebook may not be as bad as suggested.
Job management platform provider Fergus has appointed David Holmes as chief executive to spearhead the company’s growth in Australia and beyond.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose a proposed merger between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment announced in July.
Tennis Australia's technology needs for the Australian Open in 2019, and for the next two years thereafter, will be provided by the Indian outsourcing giant Infosys, which has signed a three-year deal with the body responsible for the sport in Australia.
When Nine Entertainment takes over Fairfax Media by the end of the year as expected, the two companies will have plenty of areas which they need to compromise on. But one wonders how the two firms will resolve their differences over Google.
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