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Australia 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 a binding code of conduct was needed to ensure the viability of Australian media companies, which would be enacted this year.

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“It̵

7;s about a fair path for the Australian news media. It’s about ensuring increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable media environment,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

The Australian proposal would require US social media and search giants to negotiate with Australian media companies on the use of their content.

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Australia will be the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content. Both companies have spent years postponing payment claims from news publishers around the world.

Neither Google nor Facebook responded immediately to requests for comments.

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If no agreement can be reached, the matter shall be referred to the statutory body for arbitration. If it is not possible to reach an agreement within 45 days, the government body will make a final decision.

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(Report by Colin Packham; Edited by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates)


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