The tussle between Big Tech and a government Down Under is a preview of the battle to come globally.
The Australian Parliament started debate this week on legislation to force digital platforms to negotiate with media companies on payment for news. Under the proposed law, if the two sides fail to reach a deal, they would be brought to binding arbitration. The bill would also require technology companies to give notice to news companies of algorithm changes that will materially affect traffic and to give the publishers collective-bargaining power. The government would determine which tech platforms are subject to the law, but it would likely start with Google and Facebook , the dominant companies in online advertising. With bipartisan support, the legislation will likely pass soon.
The two American companies have pushed back hard. Google threatened last year to shut down its search engine in Australia. Facebook has said users