Published: Fri, February 26, 2021
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Facebook pledges $1 bil for news; defends Australia blackout

Facebook pledges $1 bil for news; defends Australia blackout

Canada's news media industry has come out hard against Facebook and asked the government for more regulation of tech companies, to allow the industry to recoup financial losses it has suffered in the years that Facebook and Google have been steadily gaining greater market shares of advertising.

Speaking to 2GB radio station after the Federal Government's contentious media bargaining code passed into law, Frydenberg said the social media giant told him it would reinstate news content on the platform.

"Last month, Facebook announced deals with The Guardian, Telegraph Media Group, Financial Times, Daily Mail Group, Sky News and many more, including local, regional and lifestyle publishers, to pay for content in its Facebook News product in the United Kingdom", he wrote.

Among key concessions, the government said Tuesday it would take into account commercial deals Google and Facebook reach with news companies before deciding whether they are subject to the law, and would also give them one month's notice.

"We are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns", William Easton, managing director for Facebook Australia & New Zealand, said in a statement.

Facebook has removed a ban that prevented Australians from reading or sharing news stories on the social media service.

"Obviously that was a major engineering feat for them to wipe the Facebook platform of Australian news media content". They say they have deals with more than 50 Australian titles and more than 500 publishers globally using the model-which was launched in October.

Mr Frydenberg confirmed on Thursday that Australian news would return to Facebook on Friday.

"Regulators from around the world will be reassured that they can continue to take inspiration from the Australian government's determination to withstand unacceptable threats from powerful commercial gatekeepers".

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Google had already struck news sharing deals with a number of Australian publishers

"The internet needs new rules that work for everyone, not just for big media corporations". After Facebook's recent shutdown of news feed in the country and quick reversal, the social media giant has pledged to invest $1 billion to "support the news industry".

The Australian Broadcasting Corp has said it was also in talks with Facebook.

The process of negotiating changes to the code has revealed the private values of Facebook, Google and any similar parties that could be impacted by the code.

Chris Moos, a lecturer at Oxford University's Business School, said the last-minute amendments in Australia's legislation amounted to a "small victory" for Facebook.

Governments in Europe and Australia are increasingly sympathetic to this point of view. "If this was so easy other countries would have done it long ago".

Downing Street said it too was "concerned", and reports emerged that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden planned to meet Facebook executives.

He believes there's a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the relationship between Facebook and news publishers. Amid calls to emulate the Australian plan in other countries, USA lawmakers should avoid the temptation.

Google has already brokered deals worth millions of dollars with local media companies, including the two largest: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Nine Entertainment.

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