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The News Media Bargaining Code Remains Unworkable—But There Is a Path Forward

 |  December 29, 2020

By: Mel Silva (Google)

The Australian Government has introduced its News Media Bargaining Code into Parliament.  

Unfortunately, while the Government has made some changes, the legislation still falls far short of a workable Code. As the legislation goes to a Senate committee for inquiry, it has serious problems that need to be worked through. 

The Code has changed—but still isn’t workable

Since the plan for a mandatory code was first announced in April 2020, we’ve engaged closely with the Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. We’ve explained consistently why earlier versions of the Code weren’t workable for Google or the people who use our services. And we’ve set out options to fix the most significant issues. We’ve said we’re willing to invest in a strong future for the news industry and made concrete progress on a new approach to doing that globally, through Google News Showcase. We’ve agreed that commercial negotiations are the best option for securing this investment, and that a form of binding arbitration within the Code could be a reasonable backstop — so long as that arbitration model is fair…