Australia unveils plan to force Google and Facebook to pay for news

The Australian government has unveiled its plan to force tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for their content.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the “world-leading” draft code of conduct aimed to give publishers “a level playing field to ensure a fair go”.

Many news outlets have shut or shed jobs this year amid falling profits.

Facebook and Google strongly oppose the proposal, even suggesting they could walk away from Australia’s news market.

Mr Frydenberg said the code of conduct – drafted by Australia’s competition regulator – would be debated by parliament.

It could impose “substantial penalties” worth hundreds of millions of dollars on tech companies which fail to comply, he said.

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Google and Facebook to be forced to share revenue with media in Australia under draft code
Google, Facebook and other digital platforms could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines if they fail to comply with a news media bargaining code released by Australia’s competition regulator on Friday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was asked to develop the mandatory code in April by the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, after negotiations between the digital platforms, the ACCC and media companies stalled, and media companies experienced a sharp fall in ad revenue due to Covid-19.

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