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New Zealand plans to require major tech companies to pay for news

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The New Zealand government is primed to release new legislation that will require major tech companies, like Google and Meta, to pay media companies for publishing and sharing news like they do in Australia.

The Minister of Broadcasting, Willie Jackson, commented that the legislation will be modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada and will hopefully incentivise digital platforms to reach deals with local news outlets. This will particularly benefit small regional and community newspapers, as well as rural, Māori, Pacific, and ethnic outlets. Moreover, due to increased advertising investments in online platforms, the blow to media revenue is affecting the quality of local content, the capacity to produce news, and the job security of journalists. It is estimated that if the law were to come into effect, it would bring in about $30 million NZD ($28 million AUD) to the local market.

The legislation may also permit local media outlets to form collectives without needing the Commerce Commission’s approval to negotiate deals with large online platforms. This is designed to balance bargaining power between all contracting parties. The New Zealand government is hoping that within the next three to six months, digital platforms will be incentivised to enter into voluntary negotiations with local outlets before the law is passed.

The law will go to vote in parliament where the governing Labor Party’s majority is expected to pass it.

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