Forcing Meta to carry news on Facebook and Instagram a scenario being considered by Australian government

Using the tax system to prevent the tech giant from pulling news from its platforms one option being looked at, Treasury official tells parliament

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The Australian government has been wargaming scenarios if Meta pulled news from Facebook and Instagram, including whether it could force the company to carry news or influence it via the tax system, parliament has heard.

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, announced in March it would not enter into new agreements with media companies to pay for news, following the end of contracts signed in 2021 under the Morrison government’s news media bargaining code.

The assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, is considering whether the Albanese government should use the powers under the news media bargaining code legislation to “designate” Meta under the code, which would force the tech company to enter negotiations for payment with news providers, or risk fines of 10% of its Australian revenue.

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