The Australian government will be passing a regulation that will force America's leading technology giants Facebook, Inc. and Google to pay media outlets in Australia for news content published on their sites -- a move that has been an implication of a long decline in advertising revenues for Australia's media companies.

According to a report, many are curious as to how Facebook and Google would respond to the said regulation but critics have commented that this would be a landmark move for the Australian government who remains steadfast in its resolve to protect independent journalism in the country down under.

Josh Frydenberg who is the treasurer of the government of Australia said that this particular regulation is expected to officially become law this year. By that time, both Facebook and Google would be required to pay Australian media companies using a royalty-style payments scheme.

Frydenburg found it only fair that the country's news companies would receive such payments and said that the regulation will ensure that the country remains competitive in terms of consumer and business protection. He also told reporters in Melbourne that the regulation will pave the way for a more sustainable media landscape.

This move by the Australian government followed the previous day's events. Representatives of Google and Facebook were called to a congressional hearing with lawmakers from the United States and the companies were questioned for allegedly abusing their market power.

Last year, it can be recalled that the Australian government had already told Facebook and Google to voluntarily engage with media companies in order to come up with a proper negotiation for their use of news content.

However, the said issue remains unresolved and Canberra has now warned that if a mutual agreement cannot be arrived at through arbitration in 45 days, Australia's Communications and Media Authority would take the lead in setting legally binding terms instead.

Facebook has not yet responded to this warning but Google said that the regulation does not take into account the "billions of clicks" that it directs to Australian news publishers on a yearly basis.

Mel Silva who is the managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand said that the said move hints that the Australian government could hinder the market's natural progress with such interventions - opposite to solving challenges faced by the digital companies through a tailor-fitted business model relevant to today's digital age.

News Corp Australia is among the media companies that pushed the Australian government to intervene in view of a weak outlook in advertising revenues and the considerably huge number of journalism jobs lost over the past 10 years.

Frydenburg said that a third of advertising expenses are paid to Google and Facebook.

Aside from News Corp, several other publishers from Germany, France and Spain have tried to pass copyright laws and regulations in the past only to later rescind such regulations after their sites suffered very low traffic as a result.

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