Meta, Alphabet pushed to enter deals with news companies

Meta Platforms Inc and Alphabet Inc will be required to strike commercial deals with Indonesian news outlets to use their content.

The publishers’ rule will push digital platforms to “support quality journalism” by entering licensing, revenue-sharing, data-sharing or other deals with local news outlets, without specifying how the income should be distributed.

The regulation comes into effect six months after issuance on Feb 20.

“We want to provide a clear general framework for cooperation between news companies and digital platforms,” President Joko Widodo said on late Tuesday.

“We still have to anticipate potential risks, especially during the implementation period, in terms of the response from digital platforms and the community using these services,” the leader added.

The South-East Asian country joins Australia and Canada in pushing digital platforms to pay for news.

Meta and Alphabet responded by restricting news availability on Instagram, Facebook and the Google search engine for users in Australia and Canada.

Google warned the rule may hurt small publishers and creators, and “jeopardise the future of news media in Indonesia,” its Indonesia unit said in a blog post last July.

Shares of local news outlets including PT Media Nusantara Citra and PT Tempo Inti Media may gain after the rule’s issuance. — Bloomberg

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