A week after blocking access to the country’s news sites, tonight (Monday to Tuesday) Facebook and the Australian government reached an agreement regarding the conduct of news content on the social network. As part of the agreement reached, it was decided, among other things, to activate an arbitration mechanism that will come into use as soon as the entities fail to reach agreements on the content advertising prices, and in the coming days Facebook will re-allow access to the news content.
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Last week the social network blocked all news content in Australia, including government pages from the Ministry of Health and emergency content, after the government announced that companies like Facebook and Google would have to pay news content makers for their use. Facebook’s move has been dramatic and has made waves around the world, among other things in order to warn various governments about imposing similar regulations.
Due to the great power that these giant companies have, they used to decide on the price they would pay the news content producers, one that does not justify the work they do. The Australian government decided to intervene and in response, Facebook made the dramatic blockade, but last night, as mentioned, the parties reached agreements on the issue.
Australian Finance Minister Josh Friedenberg has announced that his country will change the bargaining code (an automatic code that sets a price according to supply and demand) but it will not be relevant to Facebook if it reaches joint agreements with the country’s media companies and pays for the content they distribute. Will Aston, Facebook Australia CEO and vice president of the company said they were “delighted we were able to reach an agreement with the Australian Government and appreciate the fruitful discussion”.
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