/ 01 February 2021

Staring down big tech

Met anyone interesting lately? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg met Facebook czar and ruler of all the lands Mark Zuckerberg last week… The Big Tech boss “reached out” (how very Silicon Valley….) to talk about the Morrison Government’s plans for a mandatory bargaining code that would see Facebook and Google pay for Australian news content. Neither giant is happy with the proposal. Like, really unhappy about it… The social media platform says it would stop Aussies from posting news links if it goes ahead. And Google says it would pull its online search engine. “I don’t dismiss the threats, but I’m not intimidated by them either,” Frydenberg said on ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday. The issue has put our political leaders in front of some of the tech industry’s movers and shakers – Frydenberg said PM Scott Morrison spoke to Microsoft boss Satya Nadella last week about its search engine Bing.

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