Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content

SYDNEY : Facebook and Google could be required to pay news outlets for their content in "world first" legislation set to be introduced to Australia's Parliament today.

In one of the most aggressive moves to check the power of the US digital giants, Canberra plans to compel the firms to pay media organisations when their platforms host their content or face millions of dollars in fines.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the new rules, first mooted in July, are expected to come into effect next year.

"This is a huge reform. This is a world first. And the world is watching what happens here in Australia," he said.

The law will apply to Facebook's "News Feed" and Google searches. The firms will be required to pay Australian media outlets, including public broadcasters ABC and SBS.

The government has decided to exempt other popular platforms such as YouTube and Instagram from the rules. - AFP