Under the amendments to the proposed bill, the Australian government will take into account commercial agreements that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have already made with local news media businesses before deciding if the code applies to the tech giants.
The government will also give the digital platforms one month’s notice before reaching the final decision.
It will also include a two-month mediation period to allow digital platforms and publishers to broker deals before they are made to enter arbitration as a last resort.
The amendments are expected to provide “further clarity” to digital platforms and news organizations on how the bargaining code will be implemented, the government said.
Australia wants digital platforms to pay local media outlets and publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results.
If both sides are unable to reach a commercial deal, government-appointed arbitrators can decide on the final price by ruling in favor of either party — the digital platform or the publisher — with no room for a middle-ground agreement, according to experts.
The arbitration clause has been one of Facebook’s main points of objection.
— CNBC’s Will Koulouris contributed to this report.
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