Facebook's Zuckerberg reached out to Australian lawmakers over new media rules

Facebook’s Zuckerberg reached out to Australian lawmakers over new media rules

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Sydney: The company’s finance minister said on Sunday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Australian MPs last week to discuss rules designed to make Internet giants pay for content to the news media, but failed to convince They change policies.

Zuckerberg “reached out to talk about the code and the impact on Facebook” and a constructive discussion followed last week between the social media billionaire, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and communications minister Paul Fletcher.

“No, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t convince me to back down if that’s what you’re asking,” Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp, without giving further details of the meeting.

A Facebook spokeswoman in Australia said the company’s executives regularly meet with government stakeholders on a range of topics.

“We’re actively engaging with the Australian government with the goal of landing on a workable framework to support Australia’s news ecosystem,” she said.

Australia intends to enact a law to force Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, and Internet search giant Google Inc. to negotiate payments to media companies whose content drives traffic to their websites. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on payment, the arbitrator appointed by the government will determine the cost for them.

Facebook and Google opposed the “bargaining code for news media” and launched a public campaign against it. Google has threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia, and Facebook warned that if the law is implemented, it will stop Australians from sharing news content on its website.

In this month’s Senate investigation into the plan’s laws, the local heads of the two companies outlined their opposition to the plan. In dealing with the financial impact of global Internet companies on domestic media, this will be one of the most difficult plans in the world to reduce advertising revenue.

“We’re told that if we go ahead with this, we’re going to break the internet,” Frydenberg said on the ABC.

“What I do know is that media businesses should be paid for content.” 

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