Rome. 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. The social network later lifted the measure and agreed to negotiate paid deals with Australian media, prompting the government to relax the rules in the so-called Media Bargaining Act.
Written by Carlo Bonini (Editorial and Text Format), Alessio Balbi, Jaime de Alessandro, Andrea Iannuzzi, Raffaella Menicini, Federico Rambini. Multimedia Format by Laura Pertici, Graphics and Video by Gedi Visual
Under the agreement, Australian media reporting to News Corp will provide the content via Facebook’s “News” service. It’s a deal similar to the one the companies struck in the US in October 2019. It will apply to dozens of newspapers across the country – including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph of Sydney, and Herald Sun of Melbourne.
Robert Thompson, NewsCorp chief executive, 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 multi-million-dollar content licensing agreements 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.