After Australia, New Zealand asks Facebook & Google to pay for news content

Published on 01 Mar 2021

New Zealand's Broadcast Minister Kris Faafoi has informed representatives of both Google and Facebook to make deals that will bolster the country's media sector that has been struggling off late.

Citing the deals the tech companies have made with Australian media companies, the New Zealand government has asked Google and Facebook to make similar arrangements with media companies in the country and pay for using news content.

On Wednesday, Broadcast Minister Kris Faafoi said that he was considering implementing rules similar to what Australia has done in order to create better arrangements for New Zealand's media companies. However, he hopes that fair deals can be reached via negotiation.
Speaking to a parliamentary committee, Faafoi said, "Last week I met with both Google and Facebook, I'm confident that commercial discussions taking place between traditional media and digital platforms will also begin here in New Zealand and I encourage that."

More about Australia's legislation

Australian legislators passed a bill that would require Big Tech companies to pay for any news that is reported by local media companies. Media companies around the world have been struggling due to the changing digital landscape. The Australian media sector has long been complaining that tech giants like Facebook and Google leech up advertising revenue while simultaneously utilizing content these companies have created. After tense negotiations, Facebook and Google managed to convince the Australian government to dilute some provisions of the law. Deals with media companies are now more likely to come from negotiations instead of being mandated by government regulators.

The discussion between the tech companies and the government was not easy, at one point Facebook blocked all Australian news from appearing on their platform, inadvertently taking down several emergency and health services pages. The company received significant backlash and criticism for its move.
According to New Zealand's broadcast minister, and decision on how regulations are framed in the country will be significantly influenced by how talks between the tech giants and media companies progress. "They will be heavily influenced by the nature of the actions and discussions between the platforms and media companies," he said.

See Also: Facebook Blocks News In Australia  

Financial Crisis for New Zealand's Media Sector

New Zealand's media sector has been suffering a financial crisis. The minister highlighted the media's role in helping combat the Covid-19 virus and the importance of the sector. "The media's role through the pandemic was key to New Zealand's successful response. As a minister, I'm committed to supporting the sector... and to deliver the change required to make it stronger and sustainable in the future" he said.

Feature image: Blue photo created by -