Australia adopts its news media negotiating code

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A search for “Australia News” on the Google home page placed on a desktop computer in Sydney, Australia on Friday January 22, 2021.

David Gray | Bloomberg via Getty Images

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

The move was widely anticipated and comes a few days after the government made some last minute changes to the proposed bill, officially known as the mandatory code of negotiation for news media and digital platforms.

Facebook announced on Monday that it would restore news pages in Australia and overturned 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 news sector of public interest in Australia,” said Paul Fletcher, Australian Communications Minister, on Twitter.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the legislation will “help level the playing field” and ensure that Australian news media companies are paid to produce original content.