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FB and Murdoch in crucial agreement

Facebook and Murdoch’s News Corp in crucial agreement

A step towards settling the issue about news sharing for Australian users of Facebook was taken when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp announced an agreement with Facebook Australia. The dispute recently led to Facebook blocking Australian users from sharing news on the social media in protest against an Australian law meant to make big tech companies pay for using publishers’ content online.

No terms were disclosed by News Corp and Facebook, just that an agreement had been reached. It is the first major one since Australia approved the controversial law. News Corp owns two thirds of major Australian newspapers.

After protests from Google and Facebook, the law was modified exempting tech firms that make a “significant contribution” to the news industry. The definition of such “significant contributions” will for sure be a discussion especially as the Australian legislation has been seen as a world wide test-case for other countries´ relationship between big tech and publishers.

The now reached agreement between News Corp and Facebook will most probably mean that Facebook says it has reached such a “significant contribution”.


“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,” News Corp CEO, Robert Thomson, said in a statement.

He also thanked the Australian prime minister, minister of finance and the head of the antitrust authority who were involved in modifying the Australian law proposal before it was approved in its modified version.

Facebook and Google were arguing against the law before it was modified with Google saying it would not pay for linking to publishers´ content but would pay publishers for content provided to a service Google News Showcase.


This way of paying publishers for content is controversial as it means Google decides who they will pay by inviting them to News Showcase while other publishers do not get paid.

Such an agreement for Google News Showcase has created heated discussions in France where Google has reached an agreement with some publishers providing content to the News Showcase. Publishers not included in the agreement say Google is not living up to the French legislation. France was one of the first countries to include the European Union´s updated copyright directive in its legislation. The directive targets at making big tech platforms pay all publishers for using their content online.

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