(Asian News Hub) – In a major development, the Australian parliament on Thursday passed a news media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code that will make it compulsory for Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for content.
The code will be reviewed within one year of its commencement, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement.
“The code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public-interest journalism in Australia,” they said.
The passage of the code, developed after extensive analysis from Australia’s anti-trust regulator and almost three years of public consultation, may offer encouragement to countries such as Britain and Canada which are planning similar laws.
Other countries have introduced legislation forcing major technology companies to negotiate with media companies for licensing fees for links that draw traffic, and advertising revenue, to their platforms.
The new code makes Australia the first country where a government arbitrator will set the rates tech giants have to pay if negotiations with media companies fail.
Frydenberg and Fletcher said the government was pleased to see “progress by both Google and more recently Facebook” in reaching commercial arrangements with Australian news media.
Facebook had cut off news in Australia last week amid tense negotiations with the government.
KRA seeks Govt attention, appeals for ensuring strict implementation of e-commerce policy
Urges local buyers to buy goods direct from shops instead of online websites
(Asian News Hub) – The Kashmir Retailers Association (KRA) Wednesday urged the government to ensure strict implementation of e-commerce policy and appealed to the people to buy goods from local shopkeepers.
Addressing a press conference, President of KRA, Farhan Kitab urged the government to set up a monitoring mechanism for e-commerce and ensure strict implementation of its policy.
According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) Correspondent, Kitab said that “e commerce companies are violating all laws of the country, adopting predatory pricing, deep discounting and controlling inventory, which has ruthlessly affected the retail sector.”
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He further said “Kashmir sector has three lakh shopkeepers who have minimum of three employees at their shops. Therefore, approximately nine lakh people from nine lakh families get their bread and butter through these shops, which are getting affected by violations by e-commerce business units.”
“Online goods are being sold without e-quotes, due to which there remains a difference between online image and real product,” he further added.
“Buyer is not able to check the manufacturing date of the product, that is indeed an illegal practice of the trade,” he said while appealing the government to check the goods from all entry points whether they are being transported with proper implementation of consumer policy.
“We appeal the people to buy products from local shops instead of buying from online websites,” he said.
Major crypto exchanges buckle as Bitcoin crashes
(Asian News Hub) – Amid Bitcoin’s flash crash on Tuesday, a number of leading crypto exchanges buckled under pressure, preventing retail investors from buying the dip.
The price of several top cryptocurrencies fell sharply on Tuesday, with Bitcoin losing over 9%. The value of the flagship crypto plummeted from $52,000 to $43,285. And as of press time, Bitcoin had recovered to the $46,000 region.
Ethereum also plunged from $3,700 to nearly $3,000, losing about 18% of its value.
In the heat of Bitcoin’s hefty slip, there was a surge of traffic to exchanges as investors thronged to either liquidate their positions or buy the dip.
Customers are often allowed to open massive margin positions on most crypto exchanges. Huobi and Bybit, for instance, allow customers to have up to 100x margin. What this means is that customers can access a trading value of up to $100 by investing $1.
The margin rates on crypto exchanges are significantly higher than those found on traditional brokerages and they can fuel volatility in any direction.
Tesla to resume accepting Bitcoin after due diligence: CEO Elon Musk
(Asian News Hub) – Electric-car maker Tesla will “most likely” resume accepting Bitcoin as payments after it conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said at a conference.
Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.
“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin” Musk said.
“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin,” he added.
After the conference, Bitcoin was up 6 percent at $31,900, while ether surged 10 percent to $1,970. Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at $655.30 in extended trading.
Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.
“I might pump, but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling … I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”
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