Australian Parliament has passed a law that ‘forces’ social media giants Google and Facebook pay for news content.

The Australian Parliament on Thursday passed amendments to the News Media Bargaining Code.

Rod Sims, the competition regulator who drafted the code, said, “Happy that the amended legislation would address the market imbalance between Australian news publishers and the two gateways to the internet.”

“All signs are good,” Sims told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“The purpose of the code is to address the market power that clearly Google and Facebook have. Google and Facebook need media, but they don’t need any particular media company, and that meant media companies couldn’t do commercial deals,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair added.

The changes would give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code. That would give those involved more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter binding arbitration arrangements.

A statement on Tuesday by Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president for news partnerships, added that the deal allows the company to choose which publishers it will support, including small and local ones.

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Meanwhile, Facebook has pledged to invest at least $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,230 crore) to support journalism over the next three years as the social media giant defended its handling of a dispute with Australia over payments to media organisations.

Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said in a statement that the company stands ready to support news media while reiterating its concerns over mandated payments.

“Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers,” Clegg said after Facebook restored news links as part of a compromise with Australian officials.

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