Facebook to restore news in Australia after government agrees to amend bill

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Facebook Inc. will reestablish links to news articles in Australia, five days after blocking news from its platform in response to a proposed law that requires tech giants to pay publishers for their content. “We are restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, in a statement Monday night.

Facebook FB, -0.47% said they had reached an agreement with the Australian government to amend the bill, allowing, among other things, a two-month mediation period to reach agreements with publishers before enter into arbitration if an agreement cannot be reached. on. “After further discussion, we are pleased that the Australian government has accepted a number of changes and guarantees that address our primary concerns about enabling trade agreements that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them “, Facebook said in a separate statement. The resolution came after talks between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg over the weekend. The social media giant abruptly blocked news articles from its platform last Wednesday in response to the upcoming law, in a move that drew a lot of criticism. At the time, Facebook said the Australian government “fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and the publishers who use it.” Alphabet’s GOOGL, -1.65% GOOG, -1.73% Google, facing the same regulations, instead made a series of agreements with Australian news publishers to comply with the law. The Australian Parliament is expected to pass the bill soon, which is intended to support journalism. Other countries, including Canada, are considering the Australian model as a roadmap for further regulation in their countries.