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Microsoft Says Google, Facebook Should Pay Publishers for News

Software maker supports proposed Australian law that would make the internet giants pay, wants U.S. to adopt similar rule

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Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp. said the U.S. should adopt its own version of a proposed Australian law that would force Google and Facebook Inc. to pay publishers for the value their stories generate on the internet giants’ digital platforms.

“The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press,” Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Thursday. “It should copy it instead.”