Facebook to invest $1bn in news business after Australia dispute

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

On Thursday, Facebook abruptly prevented Australian users from viewing and sharing domestic and global news in response to the proposed law, sparking a widespread backlash from the Australian public and politicians.

Facebook and Google will be allowed to operate outside the new code if they can satisfy the government that they have struck suitable deals with Australian media companies.

"Facebook has refriended Australia, and Australian news will be restored", Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra after the agreement was reached.

In a statement to the Federal government, six days after the tech giant blocked Australian news pages on its platform, Managing Director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, William Easton, said that the organisation was "pleased" to have reached an agreement with the government to a number of changes to the proposed News Media and Digital Bargaining Code.

The Australian government relented to the pressure and agreed to changes to some of the terms within its new media code.

The amendments include an additional two-month mediation period before the government-appointed arbitrator intervenes, giving the parties more time to reach a private deal.

The government has been debating the law - seen as a possible test case for regulation globally - in the Senate, after it was passed in the lower house last week. And then the definition of "core news content" is also available.

But it has been strongly opposed by Facebook and Google - both argue the code misunderstands how the internet works.

Facebook has removed a ban that prevented Australians from reading or sharing news stories on the social media service.

China jails Uighurs for 'picking quarrels' and giving gifts
He cited survivor testimony, satellite images, video, documents and media reports from major US and global news outlets. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other cabinet ministers didn't attend the vote.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham is confident media bargaining legislation will sail through parliament without any more amendments to appease Facebook.

Facebook's ban of news in Australia has prompted Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to seek a meeting with the company's executives, according to reports.

A spokesman for News Corp's Australia subsidiary declined to comment on the new Facebook deal.

For Belinda Barnet, a senior lecturer on media at Swinburne University, Facebook could retaliate any time before a decision from the arbitration panel came about the payment for the news content.

The compromise means that Facebook and Google, the main targets of the law, are unlikely to be penalized for shutting down the pages.

Major television broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media Ltd said it had signed a letter of intent to strike a content supply deal with Facebook within 60 days.

"It's always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world", she said.

Campbell Brown, Facebook's VP of global news partnerships, stressed in a statement that Facebook retained the power to take down news in Australia again and that the company would "support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers".

The endorsement from Australia's top antitrust regulator will bolster the government's argument that its hardline approach worked and may offer encouragement to countries such as Canada and Britain which have said they plan similar laws.

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