Australia’s parliament passed a law on Thursday to make Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. pay media companies for content on their platforms in reforms that countries such as Britain and Canada are looking to replicate.
After robust negotiations in which Facebook blocked all news content in the 13th-largest economy, the vote makes Australia the first nation where a government arbitrator can set the price tech giants pay domestic media if private talks fail.
“The code will ensure news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement.
Facebook’s news ban, which also blacked out many nonprofit and government pages, including those of public health agencies promoting reliable information about COVID-19, would be lifted the following day, Frydenberg added in a radio interview, eight days after the measure took effect.
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