FB joins News Corp to license news from Australian media firms

Facebook and News Corp have announced a three-year agreement to provide access to trusted news and information to millions of the social network users in Australia through its Facebook News product.

Facebook last month banned users in Australia from accessing news on its platform, in response to the new media bargaining code that asks tech platforms to pay media companies for the content users share.

It later restored news pages in the country after the government agreed to amend the News Media Bargaining Code.

The new agreement involves News Corp Australia and includes The Australian national newspaper, the news.com.au news site, major metropolitan mastheads like The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald Sun in Victoria and The Courier-Mail in Queensland and regional and community publications.

In parallel, Sky News Australia has also reached a new agreement with Facebook which extends and significantly builds on an existing arrangement.

“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,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp Chief Executive.

“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,” he said in a statement.

The three-year deal follows an agreement reached in October, 2019 in which News Corp publications in the US receive payments in exchange for access to additional stories for Facebook News.

News Corp now has agreements with Facebook, Google and Apple to provide access to journalism and related content for a potential audience of millions around the world.