New Zealand is planning a law to force Google and Meta to pay news publishers for content

New Zealand intends to require big tech companies like Google and Meta to pay local media companies for the content they use and share on their platforms.

Willie Jackson, New Zealand’s television minister, announced on Sunday that legislation is being drafted which will be based on similar legislation in Australia, as well as pending legislation in Canada and action in the Kingdom, the UK and the EU.

“It is not fair that large digital platforms such as Google and Meta can host and share local news for free. It costs money to produce the news, and it’s only justice they pay,” Jackson said in a statement.

Jackson noted that New Zealand media, particularly small and medium-sized newspapers, are struggling to survive as traditional advertising moves online. “So it’s critical that those who enjoy their news content actually pay for it,” he said.

In the United States, for example, estimated earnings for newspaper publishers fell 52% between 2002 and 2020, according to census data.

Jackson said the New Zealand bill is designed as a “backstop” to encourage big tech companies to enter into voluntary compensation agreements with publishers themselves. However, if agreements cannot be reached, “the legislation lays down processes for negotiation and mandatory negotiation”.

Neither Alphabet’s GOOGL,
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GOOG,
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Google or Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. META,
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responded immediately when asked for comment Sunday.

In 2021, Google and Facebook separately agreed to pay local news publishers in Australia after that country passed a law in 2020 mandating compensation to create a “sustainable media landscape”.

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