Google responds to the ACCC draft code | radioinfo

Google responds to the ACCC draft code

Monday 17 August, 2020
Mel Silva

Google has responded to the proposed draft mandatory code released by the ACCC.

The code would allow Australian media to bargain with Google and Facebook to quickly secure fair payment for news content

Managing Director, Mel Silva, on behalf of Google Australia published the following open letter.
 

Open letter to Australians
 
We need to let you know about new Government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube.
 
A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.
 
The way Aussies search every day on Google is at risk from new regulation 
You’ve always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what’s most relevant and helpful to you. We could no longer guarantee that under this law. The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of businesses - news media businesses - over everyone else who has a website, YouTube channel or small business. News media businesses alone would be given information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking over everyone else, even when someone else provides a better result. We’ve always treated all website owners fairly when it comes to information we share about ranking. The proposed changes are not fair and they mean that Google Search results and YouTube will be worse for you.
 
Your Search data may be at risk
You trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe. Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses “how they can gain access” to data about your use of our products. There’s no way of knowing if any data handed over would be protected, or how it might be used by news media businesses.
 
Hurting the free services you use
We deeply believe in the importance of news to society. We partner closely with Australian news media businesses — we already pay them millions of dollars and send them billions of free clicks every year. We’ve offered to pay more to license content. But rather than encouraging these types of partnerships, the law is set up to give big media companies special treatment and to encourage them to make enormous and unreasonable demands that would put our free services at risk.
 
This law wouldn’t just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses — it would impact all of our Australian users, so we wanted to let you know. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get this proposal changed so we can protect how Search and YouTube work for you in Australia and continue to build constructive partnerships with news media businesses — not choose one over the other.
 
You’ll hear more from us in the coming days — stay tuned.
Thank you,
Mel Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia

In response to Google's open letter, a spokesperson for Nine said, “It is disappointing that the global digital platforms are highlighting selected elements of the draft Code and presenting them in a way which does not accurately reflect the framework in which the draft Code will operate.  For example, the suggestion that news media businesses will get access to data not available to other content providers is not consistent with the Draft Code. The implication that data provided to news media businesses will not be protected ignores the impact of privacy legislation on those news media businesses."
 
“At Nine we maintain our position, which, at its core, means our premium journalism and content have a clear monetary value which these platforms should remunerate us for. We look forward to working with the ACCC on finalising the Code and then negotiating a fair outcome for our business with the digital platforms who will be subject to the Code.”

 
 

 

 

 

 


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