Australia has passed a new law that will force tech companies to pay publishers for news content, setting the stage for potential, similar action in other countries.

“This is a significant milestone,” said Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal party’s deputy leader who spearheaded the new law. “This legislation will help level the playing field & see Australian news media businesses paid for generating original content.” The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says the law will address “a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.”

The law is currently designed to target Facebook and Google specifically, but in the future it could be expanded to other platforms “where fundamental bargaining power imbalances with Australian news businesses emerge.”

However, amendments to the law mean the government can also take into account any commercial agreements a tech company has made with news publishers before formally designating it as a platform under the code. The law is due to be reviewed a year after it comes into effect to assess its impact.

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