Facebook said on Tuesday that it would lift its controversial ban on Australian news pages after the government agreed to amend the world’s number one media law, which the tech giant strongly opposes.
Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg (Josh Frydenberg) and Facebook said that key aspects of the law have reached a compromise, which will force global technology companies to pay news companies for content that appears on their platforms.
Will Easton, the managing director of Facebook Australia, said: “Due to these changes, we can now work hard to increase our investment in public welfare news and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.”
The social media company used to block news for Australian users last week and unintentionally blocked a series of non-news pages related to Facebook charity, from cancer charities to emergency response services, causing global outrage.
Compromise means that Facebook and Google (the main targets of the law), as long as they reach some agreement with local media companies to pay for news, are unlikely to be punished.
Both companies oppose legislation that mandates negotiations with media companies and gives Australian independent arbitrators the right to implement settlements.
Easton said: “We are very pleased to be able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate our constructive discussions.”
Despite earlier threats to pass legislation to withdraw services from Australia, Google has relaxed its stance and entered into multi-million dollar deals with multiple media companies, including the two largest media companies: Murdoch ( Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (News Corp.) and Nine Entertainment (Nine Entertainment).
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