After Google, Facebook signs deal with News Corp in Australia

News Corp and Sky News reach pay deal with Facebook, weeks after media bargaining code became law

Facebook will pay News Corp for content in Australia

It also makes News Corp the first major media outlet to strike a deal with Facebook under controversial new laws that make Facebook and Google pay Australian publishers for their content.

Sky News Australia, meanwhile, reached a new agreement with Facebook that extends and "significantly builds" on an existing arrangement, the company said.

Facebook and Google, the two companies targeted by the regulation, 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. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement will see News Corp's Australian media outlets provide content via Facebook's "News" service, similar to a deal the companies struck in the United States in October 2019.

This deal includes The Australian, news.com.au news, major metropolitan mastheads like The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and The Courier-Mail in Queensland, as well as regional and community publications.

Another of Australia's top three media companies - Seven West - also signed a deal with Facebook last month.

News Corp already has a deal with Facebook for its U.S. media titles, which involves the tech giant paying for stories to include in its News tab.

A separate deal was made with the TV network Sky News.

Laws requiring Facebook and Google to pay for news came into effect in Australia this month. Pic Chesnot  Getty Images
Laws requiring Facebook and Google to pay for news came into effect in Australia this month. Pic Chesnot Getty Images

News Corp now has pay deals with Facebook, Google and Apple to provide access to journalism.

The debate came to a head last month, just days before the law was passed.

News Corp Australia chief executive Michael Miller has welcomed the deal.

This period has seen intense wrangling between a stubborn Australian government and tech platforms such as Google and Facebook. Within a week, the Australian government had softened some of the rules, and news content was restored.

Others said it further emphasized the inordinate power of social media companies to control news and public information.

So it's not surprising that when Facebook finally agreed to start payment negotiations after parliament passed the News Media Bargaining Code, the Murdoch empire was going to get a substantial sum, even if they haven't shared the number. On the other hand, Facebook has escalated the controversy and temporarily banned news pages on its platform for Australian users.

"This digital denouement has been more than a decade in the making", he added.

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