In the case of Facebook-Google, will India follow the path of Australia?

Posted on 22nd Feb 2021 02:50 pm by rohit kumar

In the next few days, if the Australian Parliament passed a historic media law, which is likely, it would be bad news for big tech companies like Facebook and Google. Experts say that its results can be worldwide.


In present times, most people in the world get news and analysis through social media. Facebook is the world's largest and powerful tech company with 2.80 billion users. According to the latest statistics of last month, it has the highest number of users in India at 32 crore. The second place in America, where it has 19 million users.


Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger are also owned by Facebook and are billion-dollar companies, while YouTube is a Google company.


The world's largest tech company, Facebook, has completely boycotted news on its platform in Australia since Thursday, which is receiving worldwide criticism.


Google has also threatened to leave Australia. On one side is the government of Australia in the ring, while tech companies like Facebook and Google are on the other side. The competition is tough and it is difficult to say who will win.


According to the Australian government, this law aims to establish equality between tech companies and the news media. An investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year revealed that the big tech giants (Facebook and Google) have amassed a huge chunk of revenue and profits in the media sector.


According to this investigation lasting a year and a half, out of every 100 Australian dollars spent on digital advertising in Australian media, $ 81 goes into the pockets of Google and Facebook (Google's share is $ 53 while Facebook's $ 28).


After this report, the government has made a new bill. After the passage of this bill, Facebook and Google will have to pay to use the content of the media company and the media companies will have to increase their share in the revenue from advertising.


Despite opposition from Facebook and Google this week, the Australian Parliament is set to pass this controversial bill. The lower house of Parliament has already passed it. Now the Upper House has to pass it, which according to experts seems to be only a formality.


Will you make a similar law in India?


The passage of the law will be a victory for the Government of Australia and the news media companies there. As a result of this, media companies in other countries can also force their governments to pass similar laws. Will it happen in India too?


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday and stressed the need for a new law. According to news agencies, PM Morrison is also going to contact leaders of some other countries on the need for new law.


In Delhi, senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta had claimed to expose the alleged relationship between Facebook and BJP in the general Indian elections after 2013. He also wrote a book on this.


On the ongoing controversy in Australia, he said, "This time will tell whether Facebook will give up. But the action of the Australian Government and the outcome of this fight will set a new precedent, which will have an impact on the media ecosystem around the world and also in India." It will affect. "


But the Indian-origin media and technology expert in Singapore, Dayal, says that India's market is different.


He says, "India is a very different news market compared to western countries, where print and TV media is still thriving. Local and regional media houses are still doing well. The energy of entrepreneurship in India in the news media Emphasizes competition too much. "


Australian media had continuously pressurized the government for a new law. According to the composed Dayal, this is less likely in India. He says, "No media house in India has enough political power for such an effort."


As such, Facebook and Google are different platforms, due to which their revenue model is also different. A top Facebook India official told the BBC on condition of anonymity that Facebook "pays its partners money to media in exchange for video content published by instant articles and on Facebook Watch."


Both Google and Facebook also pay a little money to Indian media companies by earning from video advertising. But Facebook sources did not say how much of their earnings they give to Indian media companies.


Till now no Indian media company has formally demanded an increase in its share earnings nor has the Indian government given any indication that it wants to bring a new law in this regard like Australia.


The issue is political in India. The government is thinking of legally bringing a regulatory authority to control all online companies.


Google is getting loose?


Now Google has signed a $ 30 million deal with seven media companies of Australia so that Google will be able to share a large part of its earnings with the media companies of Australia. Google is also in talks with other media companies of the country.


But Facebook is still firm on its logic. Although three days ago there was a phone conversation between Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which according to news agencies discussed the controversial bill in detail, but no result has been revealed at the moment.


Rachy Dayal believes that tech companies may have to bow to the government of Australia, but according to the political leaders are not putting pressure on tech companies on other and even more important issues.


He says, "Leaders are focusing less on serious issues such as consumer data protection, the safety of minors on the Internet, fake news and privacy, and increasing the earnings of owners of media companies."




Following Google's threat that he would leave Australia, an Australian leader and Senator Rex Patrick said, "This will affect the world. Will you be out of every country in the world?"


A few months before this move in Australia, Facebook had signed an agreement with several media companies in the UK, under which it would pay for the media companies to use the content.


Facebook was not just prepared for this, but there was pressure on the government to bring a new law. Most British newspaper groups have signed it, under which they started receiving money for their used content.


A similar controversy has started in Europe as well. According to a controversial new European Union rule on copyright, search engines and news aggregators will have to pay news websites for links.


Following a similar controversy, publishers and news media in France recently agreed to an agreement with Google on how to work together. But this agreement has been reached only with the famous French newspapers. This is very different from the broader, much stricter Australian bill.


There have also been other areas of tension between governments and large tech firms, in which governments have talked about controlling tech companies. Recently, the Indian government had insisted on the removal of more than 1100 accounts from Twitter, which emerged in the political environment of the country like a big controversy. The solution to this dispute has not yet been fully resolved.


Tech Companies or Media Companies?


The impact of tech companies is no longer limited to finance only. Their deep impact has reached the political level. It is said that they are capable of turning the wind in elections.


The case of technology companies dominating news media companies has increased in recent years, due to which concern has been raised in many countries. Google has become a major search engine worldwide and is seen as an essential service, a service that has no competition. Social media is being seen as the most important source of news.


Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are formal and legal technology companies, but they have now become the most important means of news, hence they are now being seen more like news companies.


Paranjoy Guha Thakurta says, "Like the giant digital monopoly company Alphabet (owner of Google, YouTube and Android), Facebook (owner of WhatsApp and Instagram) has been claiming that it is a tech company, not a media company or publisher. "


He adds, "The fact is that a large proportion of social media platform users are using it to get news, current affairs information and other content that traditional media companies have created. While these traditional media Organizations spend large sums of money on newsgathering, reporting, research, graphic, design, photographers, and audio-visual content; they receive a very small share of the advertising revenue that Facebook receives from content. . "


Thakurta says the 17-year-old Facebook and its 36-year-old founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg want the current situation to continue. Media organizations and governments believe that this is an unfair and inherently unstable situation.

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