A meeting between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Australian Chancellor of the Exchequer, Josh Frydenberg, over the past week has not helped calm the feud between the social media giant and the country. Frydenburg said that to the TV channel ABC. The two sides bicker over proposed changes to Australian media laws.
“Mark Zuckerberg convinced me not to back down, if that’s what you’re asking,” Frydenberg said during an interview. The billionaire “reached out to talk about the media law and its impact on Facebook” in what the minister called “a very constructive discussion.”
Tech giants such as Facebook and Google are fighting Australian lawmakers over new legislation requiring them to pay for the use of media content. The new laws are designed to support the domestic media industry.
Facebook has threatened to stop Australians from sharing news on the platform if the law passes, while Google argued it could remove its search engine from the Australian market completely.
‘Google has to pay for news’
Frydenberg said on Sunday that while he does not dismiss Google’s threats, he has not been “intimidated” by them.
Australia states that Google will eventually have to pay for news. “We have extensive discussions with Google, with Facebook, with the other players in the industry, because it hasn’t been a brief conversation that we’ve had with these companies,” said Frydenberg.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also spoken with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the proposed changes, Frydenberg said. “These companies have been consulted at every step,” said the minister. “What I do know is that media companies have to be paid for content.”