Australia passes law to make Google, Facebook pay for news

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news are ready to take effect, though the laws’ architect says it will take time for the digital giants to strike media deals. The Parliament on Thursday passed amendments to the so-called News Media Bargaining Code agreed between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday. In return for the changes, Facebook agreed to lift a ban on Australians accessing and sharing news. Rod Sims, the competition regulator who drafted the code, says he is happy that the amended legislation will address the market imbalance between Australian news publishers and the two gateways to the Internet.