Facebook announced that it has reached preliminary agreements with three Australian publishers. This comes a day after the Australian Parliament passed a law that would mandate the company pay for news.
The social media giant says letters of intent had been signed. The three independent news organizations Facebook made agreements with are; Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media.
Facebook says that the commercial agreements are subject to the signing of full agreements within the next 60 days.
“These agreements will bring a new slate of premium journalism; including some previously paywalled content, to Facebook,” the statement said.
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Schwartz Media chief executive Rebecca Costello says the deal would assist the company in continuing to produce independent journalism.
“It’s never been more important than it is now to have a plurality of voices in the Australian press,” Costello said.
Private Media chief executive Will Hayward said the new deal was built on an existing Facebook partnership.
Google which is also affected by the legislation, had already struck content licensing deals, and is close to deals, with some of Australia’s biggest news publishers. They include Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Seven West Media.
Facebook will now lift a six-day embargo on news for Its Australian users and publishers. The company’s VP of global affairs, Nick Clegg is not happy though. Clegg took a swipe at the Australian law.
“It is ironic that some of the biggest publishers that have long advocated for free markets and voluntary commercial undertakings now appear to be in favour of state sponsored price setting,” he wrote.
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