Google and also Facebook are facing groups of publishers joining forces to make them pay for using publishers’ content online. Most recently, an Australian regional newspaper group announced that they have applied for permission to negotiate with the big tech.
In Denmark around 30 publishers are planning a joint action to make Google and Facebook pay and in France the powerful competition authority is expected to decide about an agreement that Google has made to pay just some publishers for content to Google News Showcase.
French publishers left out of the agreement have complained that the agreement with just a few publishers is violating the EU copyright directive that is implemented in national legislation.
In Germany, the competition authority is investigating if Google’s decision to pay just some German publishers for content is violating competition rules.
An Australian group representing 160 regional newspapers, Country Press Australia, is seeking the right to negotiate together to make Google and Facebook pay for using their content online.
“Allowing the publishers of 160 newspapers to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook should help address some of the considerable bargaining power imbalance that exists between the digital giants and these local news outlets”, Rod Sims, chairman of Australian competition authority said in a statement.
Australia has a new law stating that big tech has to pay publishers to use their content online. If parties cannot agree on pricing, an independent panel decides about the price.
In France, the agreement with some publishers about Google paying them to contribute to Google News Showcase is reported to be on hold waiting for what the competition authority will say. A statement is expected shortly.
The authority had ordered Google to negotiate with the publishers. After Google announced an agreement to pay some publishers, the authority started an investigation of how the negotiations had proceeded. The investigation is finished but has not been made public.
The French authority recently forced Google to change how it manages its advertising service Ad Manager and fined Google for having abused its dominance on the advertising market.
It has not been announced when the French competition authority will publish its decision concerning Google’s paying of publishers for using their content but it is expected shortly. The Australian publishers have asked permission to start the joint negotiations now and the Danish publishers have within the next few days meetings about the planned joint negotiations.