Australian businessman Andrew Forrest’s The Minderoo Foundation aims to help 18 small publishers by applying to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on their behalf to enable them to negotiate together without breaking competition laws.
The move was welcomed by publishers such as the Star Observer, Australia’s oldest LGBTQ title, which was also ignored by Facebook, despite having managed to secure a deal with Google.
Emma McDonald, director of Frontier Technology, which also operates under the Minderoo Foundation, said the 18 small publishers include online publications aimed at multicultural audiences and local or regional issues.
Australia drew both praise and criticism when it recently passed a law requiring Facebook and Google to negotiate with Australian outlets since March on content that generates traffic and advertising on their sites.
But while many major news providers have secured deals, small publishers, especially Facebook, have been largely ignored.
Publications that have succeeded in reaching agreements with Google, but not with Facebook, include SBS, a major source of foreign-language news, and Conversation, which focuses on comments by academics on public affairs.