The agreement involves News Corp Australia's national newspaper, The Australian, news.com.au, major metropolitan mastheads including the Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, the Herald Sun in Victoria, the Courier-Mail in Queensland, and regional and community publications. Facebook has also reached an agreement with Sky News Australia extending its existing pay agreement.
News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson called the agreement "a landmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism," noting the move will have "a material and meaningful impact" on the company's Australian news businesses.
“Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch led a global debate while others in our industry were silent or supine as digital dysfunctionality threatened to turn journalism into a mendicant order," Thomson added. "We are grateful to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims and his team for taking a principled stand for publishers, small and large, rural and urban, and for Australia. This digital denouement has been more than a decade in the making.”
In addition, Thomson praised Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team for their role in "helping to fashion a future for journalism, which has been under extreme duress for more than a decade.”
The announcement is News Corp's latest partnership to resolve a dispute between publishers and tech giants over payments for news articles, following agreements with Google and Apple.
News Corp and Facebook previously struck an agreement in October 2019 which allows the company's U.S. publications to receive payments in exchange for acccess to additional stories for Facebook News.
Last month, Facebook announced it would restrict publishers and users in Australia from viewing or sharing news articles, prompting a standoff with the government. The company later reversed its decision after the Australian government passed a law called the News Media Bargaining Code, requiring Google and Facebook to pay for news.
Other Australian publisher agreements signed by Facebook include Schwartz Media, Solstice Media, and Private Media, according to Reuters.