Albo Responds To Meta: “Not the Australian way”

Albo Responds To Meta: “Not the Australian way”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Meta’s decision to stop paying for Australian news is “not the Australian way” and that he is “very concerned” about the announcement.

Meta today confirmed it will walk away from funding Aussie journalism once the current content deals expire in what is a significant blow to Australia’s largest publishers.

Done with funding news, Facebook’s parent company will not enter negotiations with Australian media companies to pay for the news that appears on its platforms.

Speaking to The Australian, Albanese said: “We’re very concerned with this announcement … “It is absolutely critical that media is able to function and be properly funded.”

“We will consider what options we have available and we will talk to the media companies as well.

“The idea that one company can profit from others’ investment, not just investment in capital but investment in people, investment in journalism is unfair. That’s not the Australian way.”

Senior people in the media, including News Corp’s Michael Miller, have already called on the government to step in.

“Meta is using its immense market power to refuse to negotiate, and the government is right to explore every option for how the Media Bargaining Code’s powers can be used,” he said.

“Meta is attempting to mislead Australians by saying its decision is about the closure of its news tab product, however the vast majority of news on Facebook and Meta is, and will continue, to be consumed outside this product. Meta’s decision will directly impact the viability of Australia’s many small and regional publishers and this is a pressing issue for the government to confront.

“We will work in any way we can to assist the processes the government is putting in place”.

Miller’s views were echoed by Nine boss Mike Sneesby, whose publications include the Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“We welcome the government’s comments that recognise Meta has acted unreasonably and support its commitment to seek a fair outcome for Australian news media. We will work closely and constructively with the government and the relevant regulators to achieve this,” Sneesby said. 

“We will continue to robustly advocate that these deals are in the national interest and the arguments that led to the code in the first place remain as strong as ever.”




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