Pay-for-News war cry reaches MS, EU

Microsoft and European publishers join hands to negotiate with Big Tech platforms

London: Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news, raising the stakes in the brewing battle led by Australia to get Google and Facebook to pay for journalism.

The US tech giant, European Publishers Council and News Media Europe, along with two groups representing European newspaper and magazine publishers, on Monday unveiled their plan to work together on a solution to “mandate payments“ for use of news content from online “gatekeepers with dominant market power.''

They said they will “take inspiration“ from proposed legislation in Australia to force tech platforms to share revenue with news companies and which includes an arbitration system to resolve disputes over a fair price for news.


Work is on for adopting by June revamped copyright rules set out by EU’s executive that allow news companies and publishers to negotiate payments from platforms for online use of content.

But there are worries publishers “might not have the economic strength to negotiate fair and balanced agreements with these gatekeeper tech companies, who might otherwise threaten to walk away from negotiations or exit markets entirely,'' the group said in a joint statement. The group called for new measures to be added to the upcoming overhaul of digital regulations to address the problem.

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