Australia passes its news media bargaining code

A search for ‘Australia News’ on the Google homepage, arranged on a desktop computer in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

David Gray | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Australia has passed a new law that will require digital platforms like Facebook and Google to pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content on news feeds or in search results.

The move was widely expected and comes days after the government introduced some last-minute amendments to the proposed bill, which known officially as the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.

Facebook announced Monday it will restore news pages in Australia, reversing an earlier decision to block access to news content in Australia in retaliation against the then proposed bill.

“We believe the Code will support a diverse and sustainable public interest news sector in Australia,” Paul Fletcher, Australia’s communications minister, said on Twitter.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the legislation will “help level the playing field” and ensure Australian news media businesses are paid for creating original content.

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