News Corp and Facebook have finally come to an agreement on payments for news content in Australia, with titles including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun as well as Sky News included in the three-year deal.
It follows a previous deal between the two entities, signed in 2019, in which News Corp publications in the US received payments in exchange for additional stories for Facebook News.
And while the Australia deal comes after the government passed the News Media Bargaining Code legislation, similar to the US deal, payments will be made as part of the Facebook News product.
Facebook had campaigned heavily for the use of Facebook News in Australia during the News Media Bargaining Code debate and has recently started paying publishers for news in the UK through the product.
Facebook’s managing director Australia & New Zealand Will Easton had previously said the company had hoped to bring Facebook News to Australia earlier, but held off due to concerns around the Code.
“We are committed to bringing Facebook News to Australia. Together, the agreements with News Corp Australia and Sky News Australia mean that people on Facebook will gain access to premium news articles and breaking news video from News Corp’s network of national, metropolitan, rural and suburban newsrooms,” Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships Australia and New Zealand Andrew Hunter said in a statement.
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson applauded the deal.
“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. 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 said.
“Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch led a global debate while others in our industry were silent or supine as digital dysfunctionality threatened to turn journalism into a mendicant order. We are grateful to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims and his team for taking a principled stand for publishers, small and large, rural and urban, and for Australia. This digital denouement has been more than a decade in the making.”
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
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