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



Australia will force Google Inc. and 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 into law this year, is needed to ensure the sustainability of Australian media companies.

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“It̵

7;s an honest path for Australian news media businesses. It’s to ensure we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable media landscape,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

Under the Australian proposal, U.S. social media and search giants would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content.

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Australia will become the first country to ask Facebook and Google to pay for news content. Both companies have spent years resolving payment requests from news publishers around the world.

Neither Google nor Facebook immediately responded to requests for comment.

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If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to a legal arbitration authority. If an agreement still cannot be reached within 45 days, the government body will make a final determination.

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(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates)


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