Facebook has struck a deal to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for news content in Australia

Facebook has struck a deal to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for news content in Australia
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Nick Wass/Associated Press
  • Facebook has agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for news content in Australia.
  • The three-year licensing deal gives Facebook access to News Corp outlets.
  • It comes one month after Facebook blocked all news content on its platform in the country.

Facebook has signed a content-supply deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in Australia, the companies said on Tuesday, weeks after the social media giant briefly cut off access to news in the country.

The agreement makes News Corp the first major media outlet to strike a Facebook deal under controversial new laws that let an Australian government-appointed arbitrator set fees if companies fail to do so. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The three-year partnership will allow content from Rupert Murdoch's local media publications, including The Australian newspaper and The Daily Telegraph, to be featured on Facebook News.

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Facebook's move to block all news content on its platform in Australia for a week in February angered world leaders, as the blackout included emergency services and government health pages. It reversed the ban when the Australian government agreed to ease some parts of the new regulations.

News Corp, which owns about two-thirds of Australian metropolitan newspapers, was among media companies calling for the government to make Facebook and Google pay for the media links that drive viewers, and advertising dollars, to their platforms.


Google had also objected for months and threatened, like Facebook, to withdraw core services from the country, before signing deals with most media outlets - including News Corp - in the days before the rules became law.

"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, treasurer and chief antitrust regulator by name.

Facebook's head of news partnerships in Australia, Andrew Hunter, said the deal meant Facebook's 17 million users in the country "will gain access to premium news articles and breaking news video from News Corp's network of national, metropolitan, rural and suburban newsrooms."

As well as the country's top-selling tabloids The Daily Telegraph in Sydney and The Herald-Sun in Melbourne, News runs a subscription cable TV network called Sky News, which struck a separate Facebook deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, according to News Corp.

News Corp was first to say it struck a Facebook deal, but free-to-air television broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media Ltd and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd said they have both signed a letter of intent for a Facebook deal.