Friday, 31 July 2020 11:25

Digital platforms face $10m fines if no news content deals negotiated Featured

Digital platforms face $10m fines if no news content deals negotiated Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

It looks like the days of freeloading for American digital platforms will end when the clock strikes midnight on 31 December. Unless, of course, the likes of Google and Facebook go crying to [US President] Uncle Donald Trump and ask him to give naughty Scott Morrison a rap on the knuckles to stop Australia from charging these two companies almighty fines for their use of Australian news content.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who might have just done enough to filch the title of Man of Steel from John Winston Howard, made it plain on Friday morning that the party was over and that Google and Facebook would have to fork out big fees to traditional news outlets, or face fines of up to 10% of their local turnover which could come to as much as $10 million.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has indicated that its draft code of conduct had been released and would be open for comment until the end of August.

The code is meant to govern the commercial dealings between these digital behemoths and Australian media organisations.

Legislation to enshrine the code in law is expected during the session of Parliament to be held shortly after the consultation period ends.

Frydenberg said the code would create that mythical entity, a "level playing field".

"We want Google and Facebook to continue to provide these services to the Australian community, which are so much loved and used by Australians," he said. "But we want it to be on our terms.

"We want it to be in accordance with our law and we want it to be fair."

Google and Facebook will be the first two digital platforms to be governed by the code; Frydenberg said he would decide later on which other digital platforms would come under the ambit of the code.

Platforms that are covered by the code will have to negotiate payments with media outlets in "good faith", something that Google and Facebook are not known for.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the code did not place a fixed value on content or attempt to limit the kind of agreement that the digital platforms worked out with media outlets.

"The code contemplates that it could be one of more possibilities, it could be a fixed annual sum or it could be a payment per item of content," he said.

And, if companies refused to negotiate, the Frydenberg indicated that he had a big stick in reserve, with penalties which could go as high as 10% of the company's Australian turnover (ouch!).

As to the eligibility of news organisations to benefit from these payments, judgment will be made by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News