Proposed Regulation Requires Facebook and Google to Pay for News Content

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. code of conduct / koʊd əv ˈkɒn dʌkt / (n) – a set of rules indicating how a person or organization should act

    Employees should always obey the company’s code of conduct.

  2. allegedly / əˈlɛdʒ ɪd li / (adv) – in a way in which something is treated like a fact, although there is no proof

    The actress is being investigated for allegedly not paying taxes for years.

  3. noncompliance / ˌnɒn kəmˈplaɪ əns / (n) – the condition of not following something, usually official guidelines or requirements

    The employee was fired for noncompliance with the company’s dress code.

  4. overlook / ˌoʊ vərˈlʊk / (v) – to not see or notice something

    Please double-check the contents of the contract so that you don’t overlook anything.

  5. click / klɪk / (n) – a visit to a website or page resulting from a press of a button on a computer mouse

    The team monitors the number of clicks on their ads.


Read the text below.

A proposed code of conduct in Australia will require tech giants Facebook and Google to pay media outlets in the country for news content.

The proposal, which was developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is set to be adopted this year. According to Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer of Australia, it will be the first legislation of its kind in the world.

The proposal came after Facebook and Google failed to come up with a voluntary deal with Australian media outlets regarding the use of news content. Both tech companies have allegedly disregarded previous similar requests from other countries.

Under the proposed regulation, Australian media companies and the tech companies will be given three months to negotiate the amount to be paid for news content. If no agreement is reached within the given timeframe, an independent legal party will step in and choose the most reasonable offer. Noncompliance may result in monetary penalties of $10 million or more.

In an interview, Frydenberg said that the proposed law will ensure the sustainability of Australian news media companies and increase competition.

According to Google, the proposed regulation overlooks the fact that the company helps Australian news publishers get billions of clicks each year. Facebook has not given any statement about the proposed regulation yet. The company said that it is still reviewing how the proposal could affect its services and investment in the media landscape in Australia.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that the proposed regulation is fair? Why or why not?
• What do you think Australian news companies should do if Facebook and Google do not agree with the proposed regulation? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you think governments should always get involved in the operations of businesses? Why or why not?
• Do you think businesses in your country can succeed even without depending on Facebook and Google? Why or why not?