Microsoft teams up with European Union publishers amid Facebook's Australian spat

Canada vows to follow Australia in making Facebook pay for news content

Canada vows to follow Australia in making Facebook pay for news content

Facebook has confirmed it will be restoring news to its user feeds in Australia after a series of amendments to Australia's proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code were introduced.

"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", the Easton post read.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it would lift a ban on Australians viewing and sharing news on its platform after it struck a deal with the government on proposed legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism.

Furthermore, the multi-tech entity has been known to deal with the media companies in Australia when it comes to publishing content through the News Showcase model.

The Australian legislation was created to limit the negotiating power of Facebook and Google in talks with Australian news providers. That includes requiring an additional round of negotiation with media companies before binding arbitration kicks in, as well as more acknowledgment of any deals Facebook reaches with publishers on its own, a government statement and government officials said Tuesday.

But with the bill slated for debate in the Senate on Monday, Australia's top lawmaker in the upper house has said there will be no further amendments.

This is in line with the country's aim to put a charge in the news content to make room for internet payments.

Facebook took down pages of domestic and global news outlets on Thursday but also blocked several Australian state governments and emergency departments saying the draft media payment law did not clearly define news drawing widespread criticism.

Facebook Inc on Wednesday pledged to invest at least $1bn in the news industry over the next three years, days after a high-profile standoff with the Australian government over paying news outlets for content.

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She hopes the tech firms will act in good faith and negotiate fairly with Australian media companies, big and small.

However, Australia's law would have required payment for the sharing and posting of news links on Facebook.

Seven West CEO James Warburton: "Like our new, market-leading partnership with Google, our agreement with Facebook is an important part of the strategy to transform our company and build Australia's leading news and entertainment content business".

A couple of days ago, Australian PM Scott Morrison said negotiations had restarted, and they appear to have settled things for now.

Facebook - which is much less reliant on news content - had initially said being forced to pay for news was simply not worth it and shut down content.

A European publishers' lobbying group that is among those teaming up with Microsoft said the deal shows such legislation is possible - and not just in Australia. Campbell also flagged a new focus area of the Facebook Journalism Project to support independent journalism.

But Sims said Facebook was always free to stop offering news - and had also been free to cut deals to avoid intervention.

However, other critics have pointed out Australia's media payment law is likely created to benefit the media empire of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

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