Australia has passed a world-first law aimed at making Google and Facebook pay for news content on their platforms.

The legislation had been fiercely opposed by the US tech giants, with Facebook blocking all news content to Australians over the row.

Facebook agreed to reverse its decision after robust negotiations with the government, which led to changes to the law to address some of their concerns.

The law is seen as a test case for similar regulation around the world.

The amended legislation – the News Media Bargaining Code – was passed by Australia’s House of Representatives on Thursday, after earlier going through the Senate.

The news code encourages tech giants and news organisations to negotiate payment deals between themselves, and commits Facebook and Google to invest tens of millions of dollars in local digital content.

If negotiations fail, an independent arbitrator can set the price they pay domestic media – something analysts say benefits the news groups.

The government argues this prescribes a “fairer” negotiation process between the parties, as it gives news organisations more leverage.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) – a market regulator – says publishers have had little negotiating power until now because they are so reliant on tech monopolies like Google and Facebook.

It follows an investigation by the commission into the tech firms’ online advertising dominance, which showed that in 2018 for every A$100 (£56; €65) spent by Australian advertisers, A$49 went to Google and A$24 to Facebook.

Credits : https://bbc.in/3LVj26o

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