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Australia Introducing Bill to Make Facebook and Google Pay Media Groups for Content

 Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo.
Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo.

Legislation to make Facebook and Google pay media organizations for news content will be introduced in the Australian parliament on Wednesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Tuesday.

Frydenberg said the measure would be reviewed by a parliamentary committee after its introduction and before legislators vote on it next year.

If the measure becomes law, Frydenberg said the internet giants must negotiate payments for content with local publishers and broadcasters. A government-appointed mediator would decide the payment terms if a deal is not reached.

Facebook has said it may block Australian news content instead of paying for it.

Google has warned the legislation would lead to “dramatically worse” search results on Google and YouTube and jeopardize free services.

Until recently, most countries watched companies shift advertising money to the world’s largest social media website and search engine, depriving news outlets of their primary revenue source. The dramatic decline in advertising revenue sparked a wave of closures and job losses.

Regulators, however, are beginning to rein in the two corporate giants, which Frydenberg said receive 80% of Australia’s online advertising spending.