Rod Sims Says Facebook Should Be Forced To Negotiate With SBS Under News Media Negotiation Code | Australian media
Former competition czar Rod Sims has called for Facebook to be named under the News Media Negotiation Code to force the social media company to pay SBS and The Conversation for their content.
“I’m not saying nominate them tomorrow,” Sims said. “The Treasury review is ongoing. And so let’s see where that leads. But based on what we know now, if you don’t make a deal with SBS and The Conversation, I think you should be nominated.
If named, Facebook would be forced to negotiate with SBS and The Conversation or face fines of up to 10% of their Australian revenue.
Sims, who ushered in the groundbreaking code, retired from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s top job in March.
In February last year, before the code was legislated, Facebook, now Meta, removed all news content in Australia, along with hundreds of NGO and government pages.
The move, in response to legislation that would require it to compensate news sites for the value their networks derived from journalism, was seen as a strike against public interest legislation.
But since then, Facebook and Google have struck dozens of deals with local news publishers large and small, which Sims estimates at $200 million.
Australia’s second-largest public broadcaster, SBS, and The Conversation were left behind over the deals and Facebook declined to explain why.
“Google has basically made a deal with just about everyone and Facebook, on the other hand, has already come a long way from that, especially with SBS and conversation,” Sims said in a new report, published Monday by the Judith. Neilson Institute. .
In the report, Instruments and objectives; explaining the News Media Trading Code, Sims dispelled some myths about the make-up of the Australian media and refuted some of the code’s criticisms.
He said the claim that Rupert Murdoch dominates the media in Australia and has 65% of the market is outdated as the media landscape has expanded far beyond the print newspaper in the digital age. New digital native players have entered the market, and the ABC and Nine Entertainment are major forces in online news, Sims said.
“It is difficult to combine all of the above [media organisations] in news market shares, but News Corp’s share could be considered to be, say, 15% to 20% based on the number of journalists employed and other criteria – it is certainly nowhere near 65 % “, did he declare.
Sims argued that the code – which has seen media companies that employ well over 90% of journalists strike a business deal – is a legitimate success.
“It’s not to deny that there are issues to be addressed… SBS and The Conversation have an agreement with Google but not with Facebook,” he said. “Some others who have been declared by the Acma [Australian Communications and Media Authority] as eligible for the deals don’t have them, though negotiations between many of them and Google are ongoing.
“Facebook, now Meta, has made deals with many media companies involving large sums of money. After getting past that, it’s surprising that they stopped negotiating without making deals with, for example, SBS and The Conversation, which clearly produce important “essential” information.
In February, outgoing treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a review of the code, as required by law.
“It will not consider whether individual digital platforms should be designated,” the working document states. “The Treasurer retains the authority to initiate the nomination process at any time, independent of review, if developments warrant.”
Offers made by Meta
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Australian Community Media
Country Press Australia
Nine Entertainment Co
Seven Media West
Scott Trust (guardian)
Agreements made by Google