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26 Feb, 2021 13:07

Who is the winner in Facebook v Australia news battle? RT’s Boom Bust finds out

Who is the winner in Facebook v Australia news battle? RT’s Boom Bust finds out

Australian lawmakers finally passed a hotly-debated law that forces tech giants to pay publishers for their content, potentially setting the stage for similar legal action in other countries.

The final version of the law won approval only after some last-minute amendments that followed a week-long blackout of news content on Facebook in Australia. While both sides are claiming victory in a long-standing clash over media space, RT’s Boom Bust spoke to international regulatory attorney Myles Edwards to discuss who benefited most.

“If you look at it in reality...Facebook won,” Edwards said, explaining that the social media giant has actually made a large sovereign nation amend their news media bargaining code. “Even though both are claiming victory, which they should, it’s really Facebook, who I think is a real victor here.”

On the other hand, small publishers could be the real losers, the expert noted. Those media have been “left out from the process” when the bill was going through, and made small and regional publications unnecessary for the likes of Facebook and Google as they can strike agreements with large media outlets.

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