May 14 2020
Nine Entertainment, Australia’s second-biggest media company has estimated that tech giants such as Google and Facebook should pay the country’s news outlets almost US$400 million (RM1.73 billion) per year under a mandatory code of conduct ordered by the government.
Its chairman Peter Costello said the payment should amount to 10 percent of the tech companies’ advertising revenue in Australia — estimated by the government at some Aus$6.0 billion (US$3.9 billion) per year.
He said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had determined that 10 percent of the tech firms’ revenues derived from advertising on news content.
“So, if you apply those figures, Google and Facebook are taking about Aus$600 million of advertising revenue out… which otherwise could have, or should have, been going to media,” he said.
Costello in the interview with Nine’s Australian Financial Review newspaper today said tech companies such as Google and Facebook are essentially using the product which is created by news organisations without paying for it.
“In fact, they are using it to boost their own revenues and taking the advertising which otherwise would go to support journalism,” he added.
The Australian government last month announced plans to force Google, Facebook, and other internet firms to share advertising revenues earned from news content featured by their search engines.
It was set to announce in July the detais ofl the mandatory payments as part of a code of conduct for the tech giants’ dealings with news media.
Google and Facebook protested the Australian government’s move and called for continued negotiations which have so far been unsuccessful.
Costello dismissed the need for further talks, saying the best way to address the issue is an industry solution.
“These are trillion-dollar corporates, it’s not as if it’s going to undermine their profitability if they had to pay Aus$600 million in revenue for copyright in Australia -– and I hope they would see it that way,” he said.
Google and Facebook have had a huge impact on Australia’s news industry, capturing two-thirds of online advertising spending.
Australian news outlets have lost 20 percent of jobs in the last six years due to falling revenues,.
The crisis has worsen following the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already forced the closure of many small news publishers.