Zuckerberg hasn’t convinced Australia to back down from new law

A collage of different logos of various news sites including The Age ABC News and

Mr Morrison said the bargaining code is just the federal government trying to apply the rules of the physical world to the digital world, and that other countries should follow Australia's lead.

The newly proposed Australian law aims to make Google and Facebook pay Australian media firms for using their news content. Facebook has threatened to prevent Australians from sharing news on its platform if the law is implemented.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella contacted Prime Minister Scott Morrison within days to make clear Microsoft's Bing search engine could expand if Google exits, The Australian reported. If the parties can not agree on payments, a government-appointed arbitrator will set the fees for them.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims, one the key architects of the code, has also stood by the policy, saying the forced final offer arbitration is vital and can not be taken out of the code, as the big tech firms have called for.

"Big tech has threatened to pull services from the country, they have altered the content that thousands of Australians see in the name of a media stunt, and they have actively used the monopoly control over information markets to try and influence Australian opinion".

Mel Silva, Managing Director for Google Australia, appeared at a public hearing of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee last week to address some key questions to clarify the company's position on the Code.

"I think that is clearly a demonstration of a corporation that has too much power, to be able to threaten that kind of withdrawal of services that Australians rely on".

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"No longer making Search available is the last thing we want to have happen, and it's a worst case scenario if the Code remains unworkable", the company said.

Treasury markets group deputy secretary Meghan Quinn said "the Government does consider the code is workable" and analysis into the impact of Google and Facebook's threats were "ongoing".

A day earlier, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had requested a meeting over the law, and that they had talked, but that he would not back down on the change. Morrison has become a meme more than once, and if people online were talking about the time you allegedly shit your trousers at McDonald's, you'd probably want a crackdown on trolls as well.

She said Google granted news outlets access to a wider audience than they previously had.

Bing could replace Google in Australia, a local government minister has suggested.

Country Press Association president Bruce Ellen said news start-ups should also be allowed to register for payments if they could demonstrate they would reach the financial target within three to six months to bolster independent news organisations in regional areas.

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