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“Discussed the progress”; Australian PM Scott Morrison to call PM on News bill

Australia called up India to hold talks on News bill amid the Facebook row.  It has reached out to several other countries including Canada, France and the UK, in a move to stitch a global coalition against tech giants Google and Facebook.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he said that they “discussed the progress” on Australia’s “News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020”. Under the proposed ‘News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020’  Australia seeks to mandate a bargaining code that aims to force Google and Facebook to compensate media companies for using their content.

Google has showed willingness to pay news organisations in Australia whereas Facebook has decided to black out news content from the country on its social networking platform. The Bill already passed by the lower house will be debated in the Australian Senate and will be adopted as law by weekend.

Morrison held talks with PM Modi and Canada’s Justin Trudeau about the ban. Morrison said that the country’s fight to make Facebook pay for news content could go global as he has had “promising” talks with other world leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are“watching closely” as Australia battles it out with Facebook.

“Great to talk to my good friend PM @narendramodi again. As Comprehensive Strategic Partners, we can work together on common challenges incl #COVID19, the circular economy, oceans & an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We also discussed progress of our media platform bill,” Morrison tweeted in response to Modi’s tweet which did not mention the proposed law.

Modi also said that he spoke with his good friend PM Scott Morrison and talked on their commitment to consolidating Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. He said that they also discussed regional issues of common interest.

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