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Wednesday May 12th, 2021 8:12AM

News Corp strikes Facebook pay deal for Australian news

By The Associated Press
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — News Corp and Facebook have reached pay deals for news in Australia three weeks after the government passed laws that would make digital giants help cover the costs of journalism.

The New York-based news business that operates mainly in the United States, Britain and Australia said Tuesday it had reached a multi-year agreement with Facebook that covers its major Australian mastheads as well as regional publications.

The pay deal follows a similar agreement struck with Google last month.

Sky News Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, had also reached a new agreement that extends and builds on an existing Facebook agreement, a News Corp statement said.

The deal follows an agreement reached in 2019 in which News Corp U.S. publications receive payment for access to stories through Facebook News.

“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 Chief Executive Robert Thomson said.

Andrew Hunter, head of Facebook News Partnerships in Australia and New Zealand, said 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.”

Thomson thanked the Australian government for “taking a principled stand for publishers” through its laws that could force Facebook and Google pay for news content accessed through their platforms if the two gateways to the internet fail to strike fair deals.

News Corp now has pay deals with Facebook, Google and Apple to provide access to journalism.

Google has been quicker than Facebook to ink deals with Australian news businesses as the digital platform laws made their way through parliamentary processes.

Seven West Media is the only other major Australian media organization to announce a pay deal with Facebook.

Facebook announced preliminary pay deals with independent news organizations Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media a day after the laws were passed by Parliament last month.

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