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Australian mining billionaire to help publishers strike content deal with Google, Facebook -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – This illustration was taken on February 18, 2021. It features the Australian flag and Google logo. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Andrew Forrest, an Australian mining billionaire and philanthropist will assist 18 news publications in Australia to bargain collectively with Google (NASDAQ:) for licensing agreements to supply news content.

Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation Monday stated it will submit a request to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which allows the publisher to negotiate without violating any competition laws.

Forrest is Australia’s most wealthy man. He also serves as the Chairman and largest shareholder at Fortescue Metals Group. According to Australian Financial Review, his net worth is A$27.2 million ($19.7 Billion).

Since March, Facebook and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:) Inc Google were required to reach out to Australian companies for advertising and content to drive traffic to their sites. The government could take control if they fail to do so.

Although both firms have signed licensing deals with major Australian media companies since then, the companies did not enter into many agreements with smaller companies. In March, the federal government will begin reviewing the effectiveness of this law.

Frontier Technology is Minderoo’s initiative. It said that it would help the publishers.

Emma McDonald, Frontier Technology Director of Policy stated in a statement that “small Australian publishers producing public interest journalism for their community should have the same chance as big publishers to negotiate for their content’s use for the public good.”

Google and Facebook have not yet responded to our request for comment.

McDonald’s stated that the 18 small publishers are online publications with multicultural readers and focus on local issues.

This is after ACCC allowed 261 stations representing them to reach a content agreement late last month.

Online aggregators have lost advertising revenues to news organizations for many years. They have long complained about big tech companies using search results and other features in their content without paying.

($1 = 1.3826 Australian dollars)

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.