Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp reached a deal to deliver content to Facebook in Australia, the companies said Tuesday, a step towards settling a dispute in which the social media giant briefly closed thousands of pages across the country.
The agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, makes News Corp the first major media outlet to strike Facebook enter into transactions under controversial new laws that allow an arbitrator appointed by the Australian government to set fees if companies fail to do so.
Facebook exclusion of all media content in the country for a week last month angered world leaders as the eclipse included emergency services and government health pages. This stopped when Australia agreed to soften some parts of the new provisions.
News Corp, which owns about two-thirds of Australia’s metropolitan newspapers, was among the media companies calling on the government to make Facebook and Alphabet Google pay for the media connections that drive viewers and advertising dollars to their platforms.
Google has also been opposed for months, threatening, like Facebook, to withdraw major services from the country before signing deals with most media – including News Corp – in the days before the rules became law.
“The agreement with Facebook is a benchmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism and will have a significant and significant impact on our Australian news business,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson in a statement thanking the Australian Prime Minister, Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer. antitrust regulator by name.
“This digital denouement has been around for more than a decade,” Thomson added.
The head of Facebook’s news partnerships in Australia, Andrew Hunter, said the deal meant that the country’s 17 million Facebook users “would have access to first-class news articles and news from the News Corp network from national, urban, rural and suburban newsrooms “
In addition to the country’s best-selling tabloids, The Daily Telegraph in Sydney and The Herald-Sun in Melbourne, News operates a subscription cable television network called Sky News, which struck a separate deal on Facebook, the terms of which were not disclosed, according to News Corp.
News Corp was the first to say it had made a deal on Facebook, but free TV operator and newspaper publisher Seven West Media had previously said it had signed a letter of intent to do so.
On Tuesday, Seven Rivals Nine Entertainment reports in the Australian Financial Review that he also signed a letter of intent for a Facebook deal.
A Nine spokesman said the company, which also publishes the Sydney Morning Herald, “continues to have constructive and fruitful discussions with Facebook (s) when we have something to announce that we will do so.”
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the Nine talks.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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