Australian Regulator Calls Facebook’s Threat To Block News Sharing “Ill-Timed”

Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said on Tuesday, September 2, that the US tech giant Facebook’s threat to block news sharing on its platforms in Australia was “ill-timed.”

On Monday, September 1, Facebook announced that it would stop Australian users from sharing news on its platform if a draft code proposed by the ACCC becomes law that would require it to pay local media companies for their content. If the law comes into force, tech giants like Facebook and Google would have three months to negotiate with Australian media outlets.

“Facebook’s threat today to prevent any sharing of news on its services in Australia is ill-timed and misconceived. The draft media bargaining code aims to ensure Australian news businesses, including independent, community and regional media, can get a seat at the table for fair negotiations with Facebook and Google,” Sims said in a statement.

The ACCC chair added that Facebook was already paying some media organizations for their content.