Facebook Forges Multiyear Deal With News Corp. in Australia
Signage is displayed outside Facebook Inc. headquarters in California. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Facebook Forges Multiyear Deal With News Corp. in Australia

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Facebook Inc. reached a multiyear deal with News Corp. in Australia, agreeing to pay Rupert Murdoch’s publishing arm for access to additional stories.

The agreement resolves a dispute in the country between publishers and tech giants over payments for news articles. The deal includes content from News Corp.’s national newspaper, The Australian, as well as the Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, the Herald Sun in Victoria and the Courier-Mail in Queensland, the publishing company said in a statement Monday. Sky News Australia also reached a parallel accord with Facebook.

News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson said the agreement will have “a material and meaningful impact” on its news business in Australia. The deal means Facebook users will gain access to news articles behind a paywall and breaking news video from News Corp.’s publications in Australia.

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

It marks the latest pact that News Corp. has struck with tech giants after years of demanding payments from them. Last month, News Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google reached a three-year deal in which the search giant will also pay for news.

Publishers have long complained that Facebook and Google are capturing a growing share of the online advertising market by selling ads on their platforms alongside articles that they get for free.

Facebook is in discussions with Australian publishers ahead of plans to launch its News tab in Australia. It has similar deals in place with publishers in markets where the news tab already exists, including the U.S. and U.K.

Last month, Facebook had started restricting the sharing of news on its service in Australia -- in defiance of a controversial proposed law that would require technology companies to pay publishers when their articles are posted by users.

Later that month, Australia passed the law. But the measure included last-minute compromise that allowed Google and Facebook to avoid what they feared most -- forced arbitration that would dictate how much they pay publishers. Instead, the tech companies get to choose which commercial deals to pursue, and will only face arbitration as a last resort.

News Corp., controlled by Murdoch, reached a previous agreement with Facebook in the U.S. in October 2019. That deal let its U.S. publications receive payments in exchange for access to additional stories for Facebook News.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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