Australia is on track to settle the media bargaining code stoush once and for all, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison after emerging confident from last week’s “constructive” talks with media and tech giants .
“We have so far held constructive talks with top executives from Google and Facebook. And as you know, we are also in constant contact with great Australians – Mr [Rupert] Murdoch, Mr [Kerry] Stokes and Mr [Peter] Costello who happily own just over 99.9% of Australian media” said PM on Wednesday.
“I have been able to send them the best possible signals that what we want under the veil of this code is the tech and media giants get along and each take their fair share of profits in Australia”.
He admitted the media code is deliberately miswritten to pressure tech giants to appease the media oligopoly who are losing their readership for going out of touch with Australians.
“To be quite frank, Murdoch threw his toys out of the pram as Google and Facebook are getting most of the ad dollars. JobKeeper is coming to an end. He asked who is going to pay his staff. What can I do? I told [Google chief executive] Mr Pichai that if he can make Murdoch happy, we have no issues whatsoever with Google’s business model. I was upfront that it is a boot on my neck”.
“At the end of the day, now Google understands who calls these shots in Australia. They understand who sets the rules for how things operate here in Australia. And as they know it is not us, I think we have been able to get into a much more positive space about their ability to continue to provide services here in Australia. And I was very clear about how I saw this playing out,” he said.
“If Murdoch is happy, I am happy, so is Josh [Frydenberg]. Everybody quiet, and I love quiet Australians. How good is that?”
[Satire: This story is made up to draw attention to the alarming media oligopoly/ownership in Australia and the Government’s recent attempts to unfairly empower media oligarchs who want to prominently display their news on search engines].