Australian regulator may allow discussions between media groups with Google and Facebook

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The Google and Facebook logos and the Australian flag are shown in this illustration taken on February 18, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / File Photo

July 1 (Reuters) – Australia’s competition watchdog said on Thursday it had released draft proposals to allow regional newspaper industry group Country Press Australia to negotiate payment of the payment with Google and Facebook. news content on their platforms.

Country Press Australia (CPA) is seeking permission to allow its members to enter into a payment agreement with Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O) for the use of news content on technology platforms, l ‘Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

The CPA represents 81 news publishers who publish approximately 160 regional newspapers across the country.

“Allowing the publishers of 160 newspapers to bargain collectively with Google and Facebook should help address the massive imbalance in bargaining power that exists between digital giants and these local media,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, in a press release.

The proposed authorization, which would expire after 10 years, follows an interim authorization granted by the ACCC to the CPA in April to begin negotiations.

Earlier this year, Australia passed a law requiring US tech giants to pay media companies for news content on their platforms. Read more

Sameer Manekar report in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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