Casey Newton, writing at Platformer:
On Wednesday morning, the splintering arrived: Google cut a deal
with News Corp. that will ensure its services continue to be
provided in Australia, and Facebook walked away from the
bargaining table and began preventing people from sharing news
links from Australian publishers around the world.
I think Facebook basically did the right thing, and Google
basically did the wrong thing, even though Google had a much
tougher call to make. Today, let’s talk about why the tech giants
made the decisions that they did, why Australia’s shakedown is
rotten, and what’s likely to happen next.
Calling Australia’s bluff is exactly the right framing. What’s surprising is that Australian government officials (and others around the world, like David Cicilline, chairman of the U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee), didn’t even see it as a bluff that could be called. The mindset behind this law seemed to be that Australia could demand whatever crazy stuff they wanted (like Facebook being required to pay major news organizations just for links to their articles — which the news organizations themselves would be free to post to their own Facebook accounts) and Facebook and Google would just say “OK, sure.”
★ Thursday, 18 February 2021