Australia is making Google and Facebook pay for news: what difference will the code make?

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The Australian government tabled world-first media legislation in parliament on Wednesday that will force Google and Facebook to negotiate a fair payment with news organisations for using their content in Facebook’s newsfeed and Google’s search.

The Australian law is separate to a recent deal Facebook made to pay mainstream UK news outlets millions of pounds a year to license their articles, but has a similar motivation. The social network signed the deals as it faces the threat of a government crackdown over its dominance of online advertising.

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Expect delays and power plays: Google and Facebook brace as news media bargaining code is set to become law
The long-awaited mandatory code that will force Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for news content was finally unveiled yesterday.

The Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2020 (news media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code) will be introduced to parliament today, before being referred to a Senate committee.

Many of Australia’s news businesses have been on a hiding to nothing for more than a decade, as their revenue is undercut by the targeted advertising business model used by major digital platforms.

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