The Australian Competition and Consumer Council (ACCC) is consulting on regulations that the mountain view technology giant says will give news organizations an unfair advantage in negotiations over how much content Google pays them.
Google has published an open letter to Australian audiences warning them of the consequences in their country of the regulations currently under consideration. Google posted a link to the letter on the Australian Version of Google’s home page.
the news media bargaining code of the Australian Competition and Consumer Council (ACCC) proposes that when the algorithm changes of large technology companies will affect their search ranking, they must be forced to inform the media organizations. Perhaps more importantly, it also gives news organizations more bargaining power, in fact giving them what Google calls “unfair advantages” in trade negotiations. The rule limits this requirement to only Australian news organizations with annual revenues of more than $150000.
Mel Silva, Google’s managing director in Australia, claimed that if the new rules are passed, it could put users’ data at risk and “harm” Google services that are currently available for free.
“under this law, Google must tell news media companies’ how to get ‘data about your use of our products.” Silva wrote in the letter. “We’ve offered to pay more to license content. But the law is not designed to encourage such cooperation, but to give special treatment to big media companies and encourage them to make huge and unreasonable demands, which will put our free service at risk. ”
ACCC responded in its letter that the regulation addressed “a serious imbalance in negotiating power between Australian news media companies and Google”, which was discovered after a survey of its algorithm in 2019. “Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news companies, (and) will not be required to charge Australians for their free services such as Google search and Youtube.”
ACCC also points out that these rules are not targeted at search giants alone. They also apply to other companies, such as Facebook, which is part of the ACCC’s algorithm survey of 19. The Commission denied that companies would be required to share user data and would not force companies to charge users.
“Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news companies unless it chooses to do so,” ACCC said. “Google will not be required to charge Australians for their free services, such as Google search and Youtube, unless it chooses to do so.”
Google claims that it has paid “millions of dollars” and “billions of free clicks” to news organizations every year. According to the financial times, the company also said that prior to the proposal, it was negotiating to pay more money to the media to authorize content – negotiations that have now been put on hold.