Australia releases first regulatory draft to make Google and Facebook pay for news

The Australian government introduced a draft legislation to the parliament to make Facebook and Google pay news organisations for their journalism. The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code aims at ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate. The code was created by the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and encourages online companies to negotiate with media firms in Australia over the price they would pay to have access to their news. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, an independent arbitrator will be appointed. The legislation was drafted initially to apply to Facebook NewsFeed and Google Search, but it will be expanded to include other online platforms if there is evidence that there is a bargaining power imbalance.