Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

A new draft code of conduct released on Thursday by officials in Australia would require tech giants like Google and Facebook to start paying news companies to distribute their content.

Why it matters: If Australia adopts the plan and it becomes a model for others around the world, such measures could offer a significant boost to the news industry, especially local news, as it faces financial decline.

Details: Under the proposed new code, the Australian government says it will give U.S. tech companies three months to negotiate terms with publishers over how they will compensate them for their work.

  • If publishers and tech companies fail to come to an agreement in 45 days, which is very possible, a third-party arbitrator will be assigned by the government to make a binding decision on behalf of the two parties, per Reuters.
  • The code requires tech firms to not only pay news companies for their content, but also to provide them with access to their user data and be more forthcoming about how their algorithms are used to rank news content on their platforms, per AP.
  • Violations could cost tech companies up to 10% their annual gross revenue or a $10 million fine in Australian dollars ($7.2 million USD).

The rule has been in motion for a while. The Australian government said in April that it would be developing some sort of mandatory order for tech giants to pay news firms.

  • At the time, the country's treasurer told the New York Times that it would be enforcing a mandatory code after months-long talks with Google and Facebook about establishing a voluntary system to compensate the news industry failed.
  • The two tech giants at the time expressed disappointment with the decision, and said they had been trying to create a voluntary system.

Context: History shows that tech giants, and Google in particular, don't take well to these types of measures.

  • Spain passed a similar measure in 2014 that ultimately caused Google News to leave the country.
  • France is considering a related law, one that would require Google to pay publishers for featuring "snippets," or small previews of their content, in search. Like Australia, it's ordered tech firms to negotiate with publishers or risk being regulated.
  • The EU passed a sweeping copyright law in 2019 that would require its member countries to adopt rules that would force tech giants to pay publishers. Google has threatened to pull Google News from the EU if member states comply.

The tech industry's argument against such laws is that because they're too broad, companies would end up overpaying and decide to quit the markets they cover. That could harm local publishers who depend on distribution from the tech firms.

  • The news industry disputes this claim. As Axios noted last year, a report from the News Media Alliance, a U.S. newspaper trade group, challenged Google's assertion that traffic to Spanish publishers plummeted after Google News shut down in Spain.
  • The group's CEO, David Chavern, said in an interview with Axios at the time that Google is using this narrative to lobby against future copyright rules in other countries that would require them to pay publishers.

Be smart: Many in the media industry argue that companies like Google and Facebook use its content to make their services more valuable to users and rake in billions of dollars in ad revenue as a result. The tech platforms say the media companies freely provide them with headlines and snippets to share because they want the traffic the platforms send them.

  • Paying media companies to summarize and index their content could be prohibitively costly for the tech giants, if the terms are set too broadly.
  • Regulators argue they wouldn't have to set broad terms if the tech firms were able to negotiate fair distribution terms with publishers.
  • With traditional media, like television and movies, regulators don't typically intervene in distribution negotiations between distributors and content companies.
  • But the internet's vast scale has made it a difficult market for content creators to negotiate fair terms absent government intervention, especially at the local level.

The big picture: The plan is part of a larger global effort to tilt the scales back in favor of content creators and away from tech companies as the pandemic continues to eat at the advertising market, putting thousands of local and national media companies out of business.

  • Neither Google or Facebook immediately responded for request for comment.

What's next: The draft plan will be open for comment for a month, after which it will move to consideration by Australia's parliament.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

TikTok executive says app used to censor content critical of China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A TikTok executive said at a U.K. parliamentary hearing this week that the video-sharing platform previously censored content that was critical of China, especially videos about Uighur Muslims being detained in Xinjiang.

What they're saying: "At that time we took a decision [...] to not allow conflict on the platform, and so there was some incidents where content was not allowed on the platform, specifically with regard to the Uighur situation," Elizabeth Kanter, the company's U.K. director of public policy, said.

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.