New Zealand moves forward with media content rewards bill

New Zealand moves forward with media content rewards bill

New Zealand's conservative coalition government said Tuesday it will introduce a bill that would force digital platforms to pay media companies for news.

The bill comes as New Zealand media companies compete with technology companies for advertising dollars, forcing them to find new ways to deliver news programming.

Communications Minister Paul Goldsmith said the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, introduced by the previous Labor government last year, would be introduced to parliament with amendments to help “our local media businesses get paid for the news they produce”.

Goldsmith said the proposed changes would bring the bill more in line with Australia's Digital Negotiations Act.

The law, which came into effect in Australia in March 2021, gives the government the power to force internet companies, such as Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, and Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, to negotiate content supply agreements with media outlets if the two parties cannot agree on payments.

Meta and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment on New Zealand's proposed law.

After a similar law was passed in Canada in 2023, Meta banned news content from being displayed on Facebook. Meta has also said it is considering stopping paying Australian media companies for news, and the government is still exploring whether it should intervene.

Goldsmith said the proposed changes would give the communications minister the power to decide which digital platforms would be subject to the law, adding that an independent regulator would be appointed to oversee the bill.

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Goldsmith said one of the government's coalition partners, the right-wing ACT New Zealand party, would not support the bill, meaning it would need the support of other parties to pass.

The opposition Labour Party said it would scrutinise the amendments but would support the aim of the bill.

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