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Australia to force Facebook, Google to pay media companies for content



Australia will force Facebook Inc and Google Alphabet Inc to pay Australian media for news content, Treasurer Josh Friedenberg said on Friday.

Friedenberg 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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“It̵

7;s about being honest with the Australian media business. It’s about ensuring increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable media landscape,” Friedenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

Under Australia’s proposal, US social media and search giants will 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. Both companies have spent years defending payment claims from news publishers around the world.

Neither Google nor Facebook responded immediately to requests for comment.

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If no agreement can be reached, the matter will be referred to the legal arbitration body. If an agreement still cannot be reached within 45 days, the government body will make a final decision.

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(Report by Colin Packam; Edited by Tom Hogg and Stephen Coates)


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