News publishers are lobbying the European Union (EU) to copy parts of a proposed law in Australia that would force Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to pay an agreed price for their content.
The publishers want EU lawmakers to force the tech giants into binding arbitration if they can’t agree on payments for snippets of articles shown on the platforms. They want a clause inserted in legislation proposed in December to rein in the big tech firms, known as the Digital Markets Act.
The industry sees an opportunity to press its case after Facebook imposed a news sharing blackout in response to Australia’s legislative move in an unprecedented show of strength. Publishers have hemorrhaged advertising revenue to digital platforms for decades.
“It has become clear that without the full force of an Australian style approach, gatekeeper tech companies threaten to walk away from negotiations or exit markets entirely,” said Angela Mills Wade, executive director of the European Publishers Council, which represents publishers including Axel Springer and The New York Times. She said the EPC would support European lawmakers seeking to ensure that platforms negotiate in good faith.