Facebook backflips, agrees to unblock Australian news

Facebook will restore news content to Australian users after a last-minute deal with the Federal Government.

The Government has agreed to make some final amendments to its news media bargaining code ahead of an expected vote in the Senate by tomorrow.

As a result, Facebook will unblock Australia news ‘in coming days’.


“We’ve been 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,” Facebook’s Managing Director Australia and New Zealand William Easton said in a statement.

“We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers.

“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 recognize (sic) 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 coming days.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the changes to the bargaining code will “provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the Code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated.”

“These amendments also add further impetus for parties to engage in commercial negotiations outside the Code – a central feature of the framework that the Government is putting in place to foster more sustainable public interest journalism in Australia,” Mr Frydenberg said.


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