‘If Australia Can Do It, So Can India’: Australian MP On Law For Revenue-Sharing Between Tech F

'If Australia Can Do It, So Can India': Australian MP On Law For Revenue-Sharing Between Tech F

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New Delhi: India can also bring in Australia-like legislation for revenue-sharing between big tech firms and news media outlets, Australian MP Paul Fletcher said on Tuesday.

In 2021, Australia came up with a law – News Media Bargaining Code – that mandated big tech firms like Facebook to share revenues with news outlets for their news content shared on tech platforms. 

India doesn’t yet have any legislation governing revenue-sharing between tech companies and news media outlets. However, Fletcher said: “If Australia can do it, so can India.”

Notably, the Modi government is working on a draft bill for the upcoming Digital India Act, which aims to address any kind of asymmetric relationship between big tech companies and startups to check the distortion of things that startups want to do on the internet.

Speaking at a “DNPA Dialogue”  hosted by the Digital News Publishers Association, Fletcher called India a “superpower” in the digital marketplace, and said it holds a clear edge over tech companies such as Google and Facebook when it comes to “bargaining dynamics”.

On regulating revenue-sharing between Big Tech and news media businesses, Fletcher said, “India is a tech superpower. I am amazed by the extraordinary scale of India’s digital market. In bargaining dynamics, when India would come to the table with Big Tech giants, its leverage would be very different to countries with smaller populations.”

“India’s digital market is vast and bigger than that of Australia. If this (a similar Code) gets traction in India, it will reach the desks of global tech company executives quicker than it did with Australia,” he said, adding that India can also bring in a similar code that would ensure companies such as Google and Facebook share revenues equitably with India’s news media outlets for publishing their content.

Fletcher also suggested that since the Indian and Australian governments work closely on economy and security, it would be a good idea if New Delhi and Canberra work directly over antitrust regulation as well. “How about exploring the further study of the Australian Code at the government-to-government level? I wonder if that channel could be opened,” he suggested.

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