More

News to remerge on Facebook in Australia after deal struck with government

Australians will soon have access to news restored across Facebook, following a deal struck between the social media giant and the federal government on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Facebook decided to make good on its threat to block Australian news on its platform, as a consequence of the News Media Bargaining Code under current debate in the Australian Senate.

Facebook took issue with the code that aims to address the bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and major digital platforms. It said last week the code ignored the realities of its relationship with publishers and news creators.

But on Tuesday, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said that block would be overturned.

“The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days,” they said in a statement.

In a blog post, Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand managing director William Easton said news would be restored in the coming days.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher over the past week,” he wrote.

“After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.

“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.”

Frydenberg and Fletcher’s statement detailed a handful of amendments that the government will make to the code.

The first, they said, makes it clear that a decision to designate a platform under the code must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreement with news media businesses.

The code currently applies to Google and Facebook, with the Treasurer able to designate further companies under the code. The second amendment will see the digital platform notified of the government’s intention to designate prior to any decision, no sooner than one month before it is due to commence.

“Non-differentiation provisions will not be triggered because commercial agreements resulted in different remuneration amounts or commercial outcomes that arose in the course of usual business practices,” the third amendment reads.

While the fourth and final amendment states final arbitration is the last resort for when commercial deals cannot be reached through mediation. It is capping such negotiation periods at two months.

The code is imminently due to become law as senators continue their debate in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

HERE’S MORE

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:More

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *