The standoff takes place 16,000 kilometers from Switzerland, but it concerns Switzerland very closely. This week, the clash between the US tech giants and the Australian government came to a head, with Facebook’s decision to stop sharing news articles. This unprecedented war between a digital multinational and a State should strengthen the will of the European Union and, by extension, of Switzerland to adapt its legislation so that press publishers are paid by Facebook and Google.
The stake is money. Believing that these American companies are plundering their content without any remuneration, the news publishers are demanding justice. Especially since in Australia, Google alone aspires 53% of online advertising, Facebook 28%. Hence Canberra’s desire to legislate: its “binding code of conduct” specifically targets these two American companies, so that they enter into agreements with publishers to remunerate them. The law, which could be passed definitively at the end of next week, requires independent arbitration in the event of disagreement over the amount.