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Facebook reaches deal with News Corp on Australia content

(ATF) Media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation said on March 15 it had reached a three-year agreement to provide Facebook users with access to news in Australia.

The agreement means the social media giant gains access to content from the company’s flagship media holdings, such as the Sydney-based national newspaper The Australian, and metropolitan papers such as The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

The Herald Sun in Melbourne and Courier-Mail in Brisbane, as well as regional and community publications, will also be included in the deal. The television network Sky News Australia has also reached a new agreement with Facebook, News Corp said.

The three-year deal follows an agreement reached in 2019 under which US News Corp publications receive payments in exchange for access to additional stories provided for Facebook.

“The agreement with Facebook is a landmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism, and will have a material and meaningful impact on our Australian news businesses,” Robert Thomson, News Corp chief executive, said in a statement.

“[Facebook chief executive] Mark Zuckerberg and his team deserve credit for their role in helping to fashion a future for journalism, which has been under extreme duress for more than a decade,” he added.


Last month, Australia’s parliament passed a law that requires Google and Facebook to pay media companies for content on their platforms, after robust negotiations in which Facebook blocked all news content in protest at the legislation.

Facebook restored access to news for its Australian users after reaching an agreement with Canberra on the landmark law, which is being watched closely by governments around the world

Facebook and Google, the two companies targeted by the new law, had strongly objected to clauses requiring them to submit to mandatory arbitration over the amount they would have to pay local media to show Australian news on their platforms and search results.

To avoid being hit by the arbitration, Google negotiated multi-million dollar content licensing deals with a host of Australian companies, and notably the country’s two biggest news organisations, News Corp and Nine Entertainment.

The terms of the Facebook-News Corp deal were not disclosed, but Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, told the Financial Times that deals struck by Facebook and Google were likely to contribute more than A$100 million (US$77 million) a year.

With reporting by Agence France-Presse


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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