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Meta Platforms has threatened to stop showcasing news on Facebook in Australia altogether if the government passes a legislation mandating that the business pays media publishers license fees.

Regional policy director of Meta, Mia Garlick, made the news on Monday during a parliamentary session, stating that every possibility will be explored to avoid having to pay the costs.

"Every option is available," Garlick responded when questioned about whether the firm planned to block all material in Australia, Reutersreported

According to Garlick, Meta is waiting on the Australian government to decide whether to implement a 2021 law, which has not yet been put to the test. The law gives the government the authority to set the prices that American tech companies must pay media outlets in exchange for connections.

Meta's stance is reminiscent of one that the company made in Canada.

Canadian Online News Act (Bill C-18) 2023 required digital companies such as Meta to compensate news producers. In response, Meta said the law underestimated the contributions of their platform and announced plans to restrict news articles on Facebook and Instagram for Canadian consumers. They later bargained to bring back news features, much like Australia.

It all began when Meta said it would not be pursuing new partnerships for conventional news material and would not renew contracts with Australian publishers beyond 2024. Garlick emphasized the company's strong position during the second public hearing; officials from Snap, TikTok Australia, and Google also spoke throughout the session.

The investigation's goal is to present its findings by Nov.18. But Google is blazing its trail, indicating that it would seek new deals with regional media outlets as soon as the existing ones expire.

The assistant treasurer of Australia is now in charge of determining whether or not to require Facebook to pay for news material. The treasurer stated that while he continues to seek counsel, Meta appears to be abiding by the law only when it is convenient for them.

Meanwhile, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, Australia's two biggest free-to-air TV broadcasters, announced job layoffs this week, citing a decline in income as their contracts with Meta come to an end.

In response to a query about whether limiting news on Facebook in Australia would be a method to get around the legislation, Meta's Garlick said that this action would be compliant.

"Every other law - tax laws, safety laws, privacy laws - we work to comply with," she said. "It's just compliance would look slightly different in relation to this law if it's fully enacted."