Australian Parliament passes the News Media Bargaining Code

Australia enacted the News Media Bargaining Code that requires platforms such as Facebook and Google to pay local publishers to link their content in search results and on news feeds. The government’s aim is to ensure that news media publishers are fairly remunerated for the content they create and, therefore, support public interest journalism in the country. The code is expected to be reviewed one year after having entered into force.


The code provides that the government shall appoint an arbitrator that will decide on the final price the platforms have to pay Australian news outlets when a commercial deal is not agreed independently. Facebook and Google resisted the new code, threatening to limit or shut down services in the country. Facebook reversed its decision to block access to news content on its news feed, after the government made amendments to the code that extended the period the platforms will have to reach an agreement with publishers before arbitrators can decide the final price.