News Corp., the information giant headed by Rupert Murdoch, has reached a three-year agreement to have its content posted on Facebook in Australia. The deal was signed three weeks after Canberra introduced a law requiring digital platforms to pay for the news. As a result, Facebook has banned sharing of news in Australia, causing a wave of outrage because emergency services, health departments and charities have fallen into the block. After that, the social network repealed the law and agreed to negotiate paid agreements with Australian media, prompting the government to relax the rules in the so-called News Bargaining Act. Under the agreement, Australian media headed by News Corp will provide the content via Facebook’s “news” service.
It’s a similar arrangement to the one companies entered into in the United States in October 2019. It will apply to dozens of newspapers around the country – including Australian, The Daily Telegraph In Sydney H. Herald Sun Melbourne. The economic details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Robert Thompson, chief executive of News Corp, said the result was “more than a decade in preparation”. Andrew Hunter, head of Facebook News Partnerships Australia and New Zealand, confirmed the deals and said the company is “committed to bringing Facebook News to Australia”. Facebook and Google, targeted by the regulation, have strongly opposed provisions requiring them to submit to mandatory arbitration over the amount owed to local media outlets to display Australian news on their platforms and search results. Google has negotiated millions of dollars in content licensing deals for its “Showcase” product with a number of Australian companies, most notably the two largest news groups in the country: News Corp and Nine Entertainment.