Following comments by Nine chairman Peter Costello yesterday which called for tech giants Google and Facebook to pay $600 million a year to media businesses for news content, News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has today set his price.
“I am aligned with Mr Costello’s strong call that the tech companies must pay for the news content they take and profit from,” Miller told the AFR.
“While Mr Costello estimates that the platforms should pay Australian media companies around $600 million per annum, there are different approaches to negotiating with them.
“Our modelling suggests the figure is much higher than $600 million and former senator Nick Xenophon, whose advocacy sparked the ACCC inquiry into the platforms, has nominated $1 billion.”
In his comments yesterday, Costello suggested the $600 million as it would roughly equate to 10 per cent of local revenue, with the ACCC having found tech giants to have earned $6 billion in 2018.
Miller argued that other factors have to be taken into consideration when quantifying this sum.
“But in this regard, it is important to remember that the platforms’ unfair and monopolistic behaviours extend beyond simple loss of revenue and the mandatory code the ACCC will put in place will include, among other things, fair arrangements for access to data, understanding of algorithms, direct access, customers and fair treatment of news organisations’ unique and valuable content,” Miller said.
“The purpose of the mandatory code is to address the large imbalance in bargaining power between individual news content publishers and the digital platforms, to facilitate a fair negotiation between them about the news content that the platforms take. Getting the code itself right is the first order of business.”
Having stepped in to enforce a mandatory code of conduct between tech giants and media businesses last month, the government is expected to release a draft code in July.
The code, which will see the likes of Google and Facebook pay for news content, will be a world-first.