After Australia, the wrangle between publishers and Big Tech has reached new levels


Facebook has banned publishers an users in Australia from posting it sharing news content as the Australian government prepares to pass laws that will require social media companies to pay news publishers for sharing using content on their platforms.Brendon Thorne | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Weeks after the furor between Facebook and the Australian government, the ripple effects are being felt across the world as other governments consider similar legislation.

Facebook had quarreled with the Australian government over its News Media Bargaining Code and at one point instituted a news blackout in the country.

All the while Google struck a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to feature content on its Google News Showcase that included an ad revenue sharing agreement, despite the tension between the two companies.

The Australian incident, and its reverberations, can be heard across the world as other nations contemplate forcing tech firms to pay for news content.

“I think the Australia case’s main contribution was that it showed how powerful Facebook was and that it could disrupt the flow of news at a country level, especially for a country as large as Australia,” Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University, told CNBC.

“I think ultimately there will be lots of countries looking at how to support news publishers and we’ll see various proposals coming forward.”

Proponents argue that the measures will assist in financing struggling media organizations while also helping legitimate news outlets during the age of disinformation.

European moves

Most notably in France, Google reached an accord with Alliance de la Presse d’Information Generale, a group representing French publishers, including Le Monde and Le Figaro. The deal will see Google negotiate with the group’s members on compensation after France’s competition authority ruled that the tech giant must pay for the content it uses.

“We want to discuss with Google what is the best way to comply with what the French competition authority will say,” Pierre Petillault, director of Alliance de la Presse d’Information Generale, said.

Petillault told CNBC that the organization is negotiating with Facebook and will be speaking to Microsoft.

The French affair has been facilitated by the EU’s copyright