News Corp and Facebook Reach News Agreement in Australia

Last month Facebook blacked out news in Australia for five days amid a spat with the government over a proposal requiring companies to pay publishers for content.

Photo: Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

News Corp NWS 2.44% said Monday it has reached a deal to let Facebook Inc. FB 2.02% feature news in Australia from some of the media company’s key properties, including The Australian national newspaper.

The three-year deal follows an agreement reached in October 2019 involving News Corp publications in the U.S., including The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones media properties.

“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 in a statement. “This digital denouement has been more than a decade in the making.”

The company didn’t disclose the deal’s financial terms.

Australia has passed legislation that would effectively require companies like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to pay publishers for content. Last month Facebook blacked out news in the country for five days amid a spat with the government over that proposal. Facebook reached a deal to restore news on its platform and got some changes to the legislation.

Facebook blocked people in Australia from viewing or sharing news articles as lawmakers debated a bill to compel social-media companies to pay for content. The legislation is being watched globally and could offer a model for other countries. Photo: Josh Edelson/Getty Images

The latest News Corp deal also involves the news site, metropolitan mastheads like The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald Sun in Victoria, The Courier-Mail in Queensland and regional and community publications, the company said.

Sky News Australia, meanwhile, reached a new agreement with Facebook that extends and “significantly builds” on an existing arrangement, the company said.

News Corp has reached similar news-licensing agreements with Google and Apple Inc.

On Monday, Mr. Thomson credited the Australian government “for taking a principled stand for publishers, small and large, rural and urban, and for Australia.”

Write to Maria Armental at

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Appeared in the March 16, 2021, print edition as ‘News Corp Reaches Deal With Facebook.’


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