Facebook confronts Australian government, says it would rather leave the market than pay fees


Recently, a senior executive at Meta, Facebook's parent company, publicly stated that they would not succumb to pressure from the Australian government to pay fees.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, stated that if the Australian government requires it to pay licensing fees, Meta might block news content in the country. This statement was made during a parliamentary hearing on Friday.

Meta's regional policy chief, Mia Garlick, told legislators at the hearing that "all options are on the table" when asked whether the company would prevent Australian users from sharing news content to avoid paying the fees.

Garlick noted in the inquiry that "people have many ways to access news content" and indicated that Meta is waiting for Canberra to decide whether to implement a previously untested 2021 law that gives the government the power to mandate U.S. tech giants to pay fees to media organizations for links.

These remarks are the clearest indication yet that Meta might adopt a similarly tough stance in Australia as it did when a comparable law was enacted in Canada in 2023.

When the law was introduced in Australia, Meta reached agreements with Australian media companies, including News Corp and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but later announced that it would not renew these agreements after 2024.



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