Facebook pages were blocked in response to Australia’s planned new media law.
Australian Finance Minister Joshua Friedenberg and Facebook have indicated that a compromise has been reached on key aspects of the new law.
The new media bill, which was tabled in parliament in December, aims to force Google and Facebook to pay Australian media organizations for showing their news content, or to pay millions of dollars in fines. This is one of the world’s most aggressive attempts to curb the power of both US digital giants.
The new media law bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and is now in the Senate.
Australia initially proposed a voluntary code of conduct in place of such a law, but strengthened its position by deciding that an “unequal position” between traditional media companies and the digital giants would prevent fair agreements.
Australia’s stance has changed following a study in the country which found that for every $ 100 spent on online advertising, Google earns $ 53 and Facebook earns $ 28.
Technology companies are concerned that Australia’s proposed law could set a global precedent that would require dramatic changes and severely undermine their business model.
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