Tech giants like Facebook and Google will soon have to pay newspapers and new media for using their stories.
New laws being drawn up by the Government are being modelled on a system introduced in Australia which requires platforms to negotiate payment deals with news organisations.
An independent arbitrator steps in to set a fair price if an agreement cannot be reached.
The plans are being pushed by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries in the hope of making the online news fairer.
There have long been concerns that tech companies dominate online advertising and consumers and businesses suffer.
When finalised, the legislation will be regulated by the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), the digital watchdog set up as part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
A source at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the Mail on Sunday the move is “pro-competition” and “supports the sustainability of the press”.
They said: “The new regime will be an important vehicle to tackle the imbalance of power between the largest platforms and publishers.
“The measures would give publishers greater transparency over the algorithms that drive traffic and revenue, more control over the presentation and branding of their content, as well as greater access to data on how users interact with their content.”
Google and Facebook took almost four-fifths of the £14 billion spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2019, while national and local newspapers took less than four per cent.
Facebook argued it already works to help publishers by paying tens of millions of pounds to the press to be a part of Facebook News.