Business

Canada And Australia To Coordinate On Tech Legislation: Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison plan to coordinate their efforts to make tech giants pay media outlets for their content, Ottawa said Tuesday after a conversation between the two leaders.

“The prime ministers noted the growing cooperation between Canada and Australia on the regulation of online platforms,” a statement from the Canadian prime minister’s office said.



Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured in June 2020, spoke with his Australian counterpart about online platform regulation


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured in June 2020, spoke with his Australian counterpart about online platform regulation
 AFP / Lars Hagberg

“They agreed to continue coordinating efforts to address online harm and ensure the revenues of web giants are shared more fairly with creators and media.”

Their conversation, which took place Monday, came after Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing news content on its platform in response to a regulatory bill being considered in the country’s Parliament.



Prime Minister Scott Morrison, pictured in March 2020, has angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to "unfriend" Australia


Prime Minister Scott Morrison, pictured in March 2020, has angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to “unfriend” Australia
 AFP / DAVID GRAY

The US social media giant announced Tuesday, however, it would remove the news ban after the move sparked outrage in Australia and internationally.

The Australian bill, the first of its kind in the world, is vehemently opposed by tech titans thanks to provisions which would govern the online financial relationship between such companies and media.

Canada, the European Union and others have also sought to regulate major tech sector players, especially Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, including via France’s 2019 tech tax.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has led the effort to establish such a tax at the international level.


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