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Media code row: Australian consumer watchdog accuses Google of misinformation

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 18, 2020

The tech giant and the Australian competition watchdog ACCC have been engaging in a war of words   -  REUTERS

Tech giant will not be required to charge consumers for using its services, says ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a response to Google’s open letter, which had slammed the new media bargaining code, stating that the letter contained “misinformation” about the proposed law.

“The open letter published by Google today contains misinformation about the draft news media bargaining code which the ACCC would like to address,” ACCC said in its statement.

Google has published an open letter drafted by Melanie Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia addressing ACCC’s draft media bargaining code which is backed by the federal government, calling it “unfair.”

“A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia,” wrote Silva.

In response, the ACCC clarified that the tech giant will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube or share any additional data with Australian news businesses, “unless it chooses to do so.”

“The draft code will allow Australian news businesses to negotiate for fair payment for their journalists’ work that is included on Google services. This will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook,” it said.

The ACCC further added that the draft is open for consultation for all interested parties including Google till August 28.

Published on August 18, 2020

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