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A proposed code of conduct in Australia will require tech giants Facebook and Google to pay media outlets in the country for news content.
The proposal, which was developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is set to be adopted this year. According to Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer of Australia, it will be the first legislation of its kind in the world.
The proposal came after Facebook and Google failed to come up with a voluntary deal with Australian media outlets regarding the use of news content. Both tech companies have allegedly disregarded previous similar requests from other countries.
Under the proposed regulation, Australian media companies and the tech companies will be given three months to negotiate the amount to be paid for news content. If no agreement is reached within the given timeframe, an independent legal party will step in and choose the most reasonable offer. Noncompliance may result in monetary penalties of $10 million or more.
In an interview, Frydenberg said that the proposed law will ensure the sustainability of Australian news media companies and increase competition.
According to Google, the proposed regulation overlooks the fact that the company helps Australian news publishers get billions of clicks each year. Facebook has not given any statement about the proposed regulation yet. The company said that it is still reviewing how the proposal could affect its services and investment in the media landscape in Australia.