Malaysia mulls rules for Google, Meta to pay news outlets for content

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Malaysia said on Tuesday it is considering regulations that will make internet giants Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook parent Meta Platforms compensate news outlets for content sourced from them.

Malaysia is in discussions with Google, Meta and other major online platforms over the regulatory framework, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement after meeting with officials from both companies.

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The proposed regulations will be similar to rules in Australia, which in 2021 made it compulsory for Google and Meta to compensate media outlets for content that generates clicks and advertising dollars, the MCMC said.

The MCMC is also mulling rules similar to Canada’s Bill C-11, which aims to regulate streaming platforms and requires them to support Canadian content.

It said the rules were part of government efforts to address “imbalances” in income for digital platforms and local media, and to ensure “fair compensation for news content creators.”

The MCMC said it was also in discussions with the social media platforms to address online harm such as child sex abuse material, online gambling and financial scams.

Malaysia has increased scrutiny of online content under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who came to power in November.

Earlier this year, Malaysia said it would take legal action against Meta for failing to act against harmful content on its Facebook platform, but later dropped the plan following meetings with the company.

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