New Zealand To Force Meta, Google To Pay For News

Image credit: Meta

New Zealand law would require Meta, Google and others to pay for news they carry, after similar rules in Australia and Canada

The New Zealand government is to propose a law requiring internet intermediaries such as Google and Facebook parent Meta to pay local news outlets for the content they use, with the measure being modelled on similar laws in Australia and Canada.

Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson said on Sunday the measure was intended to be a “backstop” for cases in which internet platforms did not voluntarily strike deals with media outlets.

Internet companies are to have about three to six months before the mandator mediation process begins, he said, estimating that the measure could contribute NZ$30 million (£16m) to NZ$50m to New Zealand media.

“It costs to produce the news and it’s only fair they pay,” Jackson said.

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Sinead Boucher, chief executive of Stuff, the most popular news website in New Zealand, said the company has been in negotiations with Meta and Google but that this had not yet turned up a fair offer.

Fair deals had only been struck in countries with legislation or the threat of it, she said.

“For too long the platforms have been able to use journalism made and paid for by publishers to help build businesses of near unimaginable scale and power,” she said.

“We look forward to seeing the shape of the legislation when it is introduced.”


New Zealand Herald publisher NZME reached content deals with Google and Meta earlier this year.

The group’s chief executive Michael Boggs said NZME was “supportive” of the legislation plan and looked forward to “continuing our constructive engagement on the matter”.

Facebook pulled its news feeds for a time in Australia in protest at the incoming media law but later restored them after changes were made.

The company’s global policy director Kevin Chan said Meta could similarly pull news sharing from Facebook in Canada to show its disagreement with a policy that “unfairly subsidises legacy media companies”.

Mediation threat

Meta has made deals with news publishers in Australia, France and elsewhere in recent months as laws have begun to be introduced.

Canada’s Online News Act, which is currently under legislative review, and has led to more than 100 deals because internet platforms don’t want to be forced into mediation, Jackson said.