News Corp signs multi-year news partnership deal with Google
Feb 18 2021
The diverging decisions by Google and Facebook on how to handle the upcoming Australian rules may highlight the different priorities for each company.
Local users are now barred from accessing worldwide news links through the social media platform, while overseas users will also be unable to view content posted to Facebook by Australian publishers.
"News Corp basically just muscled Facebook, then Google, into surrendering their magic-internet-everything-for-free position with some combination of lobbying, investigative reporting, Tucker Carlson attacks and Murdochian menace", tweeted Ben Smith, the high profile media columnist for the New York Times.
News Corp says it would receive "significant payments" from Google in the three-year agreement, which includes heavyweight news organisations throughout the English-speaking world, such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the U.S., the Times and the Sun in the United Kingdom, and the Australian and Sky News in Australia. Negotiations had been tense.
It needs support from the opposition as Prime Minister Scott Morrison's ruling Liberal party does not have a majority in the country's upper house.
Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute's Center for Responsible Technology think tank, said Facebook's decision "will make it a weaker social network".
"The difference between information and misinformation and the value of the news to the functioning of democracy doesn't matter to Facebook". The social media behemoth said its approach to sharing news differs from that of Google.
The blog post on Wednesday, by Facebook's Australia and New Zealand managing director William Easton, said the social media company helped Australian publishers earn about AU$407m ($316m; £228m) previous year through referrals.
Users elsewhere in the world will not be able to see Australian news content on Facebook.
Australian Facebook users, in turn, will not be able to view or share local and global news content. Other countries have been looking at what is happening in Australia.
Facebook's alternative to the Code was to launch Facebook News in Australia, a platform it said would see it increase investments with local publishers.
This week, Australia's Seven West Media Ltd became the country's first major news outlet to strike a licensing deal with Google.
Google did not provide the terms of its News Corp. deal Wednesday.
Along with government health pages, rescue services and every reputable news outlet's Facebook pages, the multi billion-dollar company's social media page was also void of all content on Thursday morning. The commission opened investigations into digital advertising and mobile apps.
"We want to assure the millions of Australians using Facebook to connect with friends and family, grow their businesses and join Groups to help support their local communities, that these services will not change".
"This loss of revenue has forced cuts to newsrooms, journalists to leave the industry and media outlets going broke and closing".
The European Union also has taken a leading role.
"Panels on News Showcase display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding".
News Corp has been an outspoken critic of the tech giants, with chief executive Robert Thomson rebuking the "smugness" of Google and Facebook two years ago.