Australia will force U.S. tech giants Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a landmark move to protect independent journalism that will be watched around the world.
Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content provided by media companies under a royalty-style system that will become law this year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
“It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses. It’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection, and a sustainable media landscape,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.
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“Nothing less than the future of the Australian media landscape is at stake.”
The move comes as the tech giants fend off calls around the world for greater regulation, and a day after Google and Facebook took a battering for alleged abuse of market power from U.S. lawmakers in a congressional hearing.