News Corp and Facebook announced on Tuesday new pay deals for news in Australia, three weeks after the government passed laws that would make digital giants help cover the costs of journalism. The New York-based news business that operates mainly in the US, Britain, and Australia said it had reached a multiyear agreement with Facebook that covers its major Australian mastheads as well as regional publications, the AP reports. The pay deal follows a similar agreement struck with Google last month. Sky News Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, had also reached a new agreement that extends and builds on an existing Facebook agreement, a News Corp statement said. The deal follows an agreement reached in 2019 in which News Corp US publications receive payment for access to stories through Facebook News.
"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," News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said. Andrew Hunter, head of Facebook News Partnerships in Australia and New Zealand, said the agreements with News Corp Australia and Sky News Australia "mean that people on Facebook will gain access to premium news articles and breaking news video from News Corp's network of national, metropolitan, rural and suburban newsrooms." Thomson thanked the Australian government for "taking a principled stand for publishers" through its laws that could force Facebook and Google to pay for news content accessed through their platforms if the two gateways to the internet fail to strike fair deals. News Corp now has pay deals with Facebook, Google, and Apple to provide access to journalism. (Facebook had sparked outrage in Australia.)