CANBERRA, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Facebook said on Tuesdayit would restore Australian news pages after negotiating changeswith the government to a proposed law that forces tech giants topay for media content displayed on their platforms.
Following are comments from Facebook, Australia andanalysts:
JOSH FRYDENBERG, AUSTRALIA’S TREASURER
“There is no doubt that Australia has been a proxy battlefor the world. I have no doubt that so many other countries arelooking at what is happening here in Australia.
“Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they knowthat the eyes of the world are on Australia, and that’s why theyhave sought to get a code here that is workable.”
CAMPBELL BROWN, FACEBOOK VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL NEWSPARTNERSHIP
“We have come to an agreement that will allow us to supportthe publishers we choose to, including small and localpublishers.
“The government has clarified we will retain the ability todecide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’tautomatically be subject to a forced negotiation.
“It’s always been our intention to support journalism inAustralia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest innews globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates toadvance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of thetrue value exchange between publishers and platforms likeFacebook.”
TAMA LEAVER, PROFESSOR OF INTERNET STUDIES AT CURTINUNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA
“It’s not a draw.
“Even though Facebook managed to cover some concessions andthe law is perhaps softer, I still think they were the biglosers here simply because of the way that they tried tonegotiate over the last week. A lot of Australians are a lotmore hesitant to rely on Facebook and in terms of theirreputation and their Australian user base they have lost trust.
“The law itself remains untested. It’s like a gun that sitsin the treasurer’s desk that hasn’t been used or tested.”
PAUL BUDDE, INDEPENDENT INTERNET ANALYST
“Facebook won, as the necessary changes were made to thelegislation that avoids them making changes to their businessmodel.”
The Australian government was still able to say it “stood upto the giants and that got international attention (but) thedigital giants remain as strong as ever.”(Reporting by Colin Packham and Byron Kaye; additionalreporting by Renju Jose)