Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Facebook Inc.’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called Australian lawmakers last week to discuss rules that would make internet giants pay news outlets for content, but failed to persuade them to change policy, the country’s Treasurer said on Sunday.

Mr. Zuckerberg “reached out to talk about the code and the impact on Facebook,” and a constructive discussion followed last week between the social-media billionaire, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

“No, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t convince me to back down if that’s what you’re asking,” Mr. Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp, without giving further details of the meeting.

Story continues below advertisement

A Facebook spokeswoman in Australia said the company’s executives regularly meet with government stakeholders on a range of topics.

“We’re actively engaging with the Australian government with the goal of landing on a workable framework to support Australia’s news ecosystem,” she said.

Australia intends to introduce a law that would force Facebook, the world’s largest social-media platform, and internet search giant Google Inc. to negotiate payments to media companies whose content drives traffic to their websites. If the parties cannot agree on payments, a government-appointed arbitrator will set the fees for them.

Facebook and Google oppose the “News Media Bargaining Code” and have mounted public campaigns against it. Google has threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia, while Facebook has warned it would stop Australians sharing news content on its site if the laws go ahead.

At a Senate inquiry into the planned law this month, local heads of both companies outlined their opposition to the plans, which would be among the toughest in the world in dealing with the financial impact of global internet companies on domestic media, which have been hit by shrinking advertising revenue.

“We’re told that if we go ahead with this, we’re going to break the internet,” Mr. Frydenberg said on the ABC.

“What I do know is that media businesses should be paid for content.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies