Facebook and News Corp Australia, Owned by Rupert Murdoch, Sign a Deal to Pay for News Content

By Adriaan Brits Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Online news on a smartphone.

Facebook, the social media business giant, struck a deal with News Corp Australia, owned by media billionaire Rupert Murdoch, to pay for news content.

Three-Year Deal Agreed

Just a few weeks after Australia passed new legislation that requires internet companies to pay for news content, Facebook and News Corp agreed to a three-year deal to allow the News Corp content to be featured on Facebook News.

The social media company has signed a separate deal with Sky News Australia, a broadcasting company owned by a News Corp subsidiary. The deal "builds on an existing arrangement," News Corp said in a statement.

Rupert Murdoch’s conglomerate also announced a new deal with Google last month. The media business owns a number of Australian media companies, some British outlets, and the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the United States (US).

The deal with Google enables the company’s US, UK, and Australian outlets to be included on Google’s News Showcase network. Moreover, the business partnership allows News Corp's US, UK, and Australian publications to be featured on Google's News Showcase platform.

Google and News Corp are also expected to develop a new subscription-based platform, where they will share ad revenue and support audio and video journalism.

The media company and Facebook already have an ongoing business collaboration in the US, where the media company’s publications are paid to be included on Facebook. However, the media company has been insisting upon new rules in Australia after the country introduced the new law that forces tech giants to pay publishers for news featured on their platforms.

Facebook initially banned news content in Australia after the law was introduced, eliminating the content and services of local publishers from the platform. But the Australian government agreed to make certain amendments to the legislation, after which Facebook restored the content.

Rupert Murdoch’s business had been one of the loudest supporters of the new legislation. The media behemoth had to slash jobs and close a number of publications in Australia last year after taking a heavy hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

"This digital denouement has been more than a decade in the making," CEO of the company, Robert Thomson, said.

"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."

Summary

Facebook signed a new deal with News Corp Australia, shortly after the Australian government passed a new law that requires Big Tech to pay media companies for news content.

About the Author


Headshot of Adriaan Brits

An analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in advanced analytics and media.

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