After intially threatening to abandon the country altogether, Facebook and Google recently announced that they are close to a deal to meet demands by the conservative coalition government in Australia that the Big Tech companies pay publishers to use news content on the platforms.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg reported that talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai had made “great progress” and that a resolution to the conflict was close.
Canberra had responded to the companies’ threats to pull out of the Australian market completely with a refusal to back down from their position.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “We don’t respond to threats. Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government. And that’s how things work here in Australia.”
If they can close a deal, it would make Australia the first country in the world to make Facebook and Google pay for news content.
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