Australia will force Facebook Inc and Google Alphabet Inc to pay Australian media for news content, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.
Frydenberg said the mandatory code of conduct, which will be enacted this year, is needed to ensure the viability of Australian media companies.
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“It̵7;s about achieving equity for Australian media companies. It’s about ensuring we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable media landscape,” Frydenberg told Melbourne reporters.
Under Australia’s proposal, U.S. media and search giants would have to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content.
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Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content. The two companies have spent years resolving payment claims by news publishers around the world.
Neither Google nor Facebook responded to requests for comment immediately.
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If no agreement can be reached, the matter will be sent to a legal authority for arbitration. If no agreement can yet be reached within 45 days, the governing body will make the final decision.
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(Report by Colin Packham; Edited by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates)