Facebook and News Corp reach media deal in Australia


dpa/GNA – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp said it has reached a three-year deal with Facebook in Australia which will see the social media giant paying for the media company’s content, following the recent introduction a new digital news code in the country.

The global media company, headquartered in New York, said in a Monday statement it “reached a multi-year agreement to provide access to trusted news and information to millions of Facebook users in Australia through its Facebook News product.”

The Australian national newspaper and the news.com.au news site are among the titles involved in the deal, which also includes major metropolitan mastheads and regional and community publications.

News Corp said that Sky News Australia also reached a new agreement with the tech giant “which extends and significantly builds on an existing arrangement.”

The announcement comes after Facebook agreed last month to support publishers of its choosing after a tough battle with the Australian government about paying for content. The row had briefly prompted Facebook to ban Australian news content from its platform.

“News Corp [and] Facebook have reached a 3 year ‘landmark’ deal in Aus which will see payment for content,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tweeted on Tuesday.

“This follows the passage of the Morrison Govt’s world-leading news media bargaining code [and] the recent announcement between Seven West Media [and] Facebook,” he added linking to the News Corp statement.

News Corp has struck deals with Facebook, Google and Apple “to provide access to journalism and related content for a potential audience of millions around the world,” the media company said in the statement.

“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,” News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said.

Thomson gave credit to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and his team “for their role in helping to fashion a future for journalism, which has been under extreme duress for more than a decade.”

He also thanked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Frydenberg and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims for their work towards the new media code.

Facebook also struck a deal with Nine Entertainment, Australian media including the company’s own papers The Age and Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported.

Nine “signed a letter of intent” with the social media giant for use of its news articles, the SMH reported citing unnamed “industry sources who could not speak publicly because the negotiations are confidential.”

“We continue having constructive and fruitful discussions with the Facebook,” news wire AAP cited a spokesperson as saying. “When we have anything to announce we will do so to the ASX, as is appropriate.”

Facebook has already sealed a partnership with Seven West Media.

The Australian Parliament last month passed a “world first” digital news code that requires Facebook and Google to negotiate with publishers about paying for news content.

“The Code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia,” Frydenberg said at the time.

During the negotiating stages Google threatened to pull its platform out of the country altogether, but has since made deals with most large media companies in Australia.

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