News Corp Cuts Deal With Facebook In Australia

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News Corp reaches three-year compensation deal with Facebook in Australia following row over law forcing tech giants to pay for news

News Corp has reached a three-year compensation agreement with Facebook in Australia, following a battle over the issue in the country.

The deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, includes content from national The Australian, as well as regional papers the Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, the Herald Sun in Victoria and the Courier-Mail in Queensland, News Corp said. Sky News Australia reached a parallel deal with Facebook.

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said the agreement would have a “material and meaningful impact” on its business in Australia, while giving Facebook users access to news articles behind paywalls and breaking news video from News Corp’s Australian publications.

“We’re glad to have this deal in place and look forward to bringing Facebook News to Australia,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, in a statement.

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Image credit: Facebook

Compensation

Facebook is in negotiations with other Australian publishers as it plans to launch its News tab in the country, and has existing deals in countries where the service already exists, inclusing the US and the UK.

Google is launching a product called News Showcase in Australia and elsewhere, and last month reached its own deal with News Corp to include the company’s content in Showcase.

Australia’s parliament in February passed a law requiring large tech firms such as Facebook and Google to pay news organisations for using their content.

The law’s proposal attracted criticism from Facebook and Google, with Google threatening to pull its services out of Australia and Facebook banning the sharing of news content in the country for a time.

In the end, a last-minute change to the law removed a key provision that would have forced tech companies into arbitration, giving them more flexibility over the deals they choose to strike.

Collective negotiations

The row was closely followed around the world, as countries including the US and the UK consider similar laws aimed at protecting their domestic media.

In the EU, the Copyright Reform Act of 2019 requires online platforms to take responsibility for copyrighted content appearing on their platforms, and French news publishers in February used the law to negotiate a reported $76 million (£55m) in fees from Google over a three-year period.

The EU is considering further reforms affecting large tech platforms in the Digital Services Act, unveiled late last year.

The US is considering a law called the Journalism Competition and Protection Act that would allow smaller news publishers to negotiate collectively with tech firms for compensation deals.

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