SYDNEY, July 2 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) will provide money for an “innovation fund” for 170 regional Australian newspapers under a planned licensing deal, the parties said on Friday, calling the decision a “show of co-operation between the social media giant and local publishers.”
The move lends a building block to a series of deals Facebook has announced in Australia since the country passed legislation to conclude it and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google is negotiating payments for content to media or facing government arbitration. .
Since the law came into force in February, dominant news providers such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (NEC.AX) and Australian Broadcasting Corp have signed agreements or letters of intent with actors. Big Tech.
The deal planned by Country Press Australia (CPA) and the tech giant would bring Facebook’s money closer to big names like The Bunyip, 8,750 copies, and Gympie Today, 4,000 copies, since they are part of the 170 points of sales that it represents.
The terms of the deal, including when, how much money and how it will be divided or spent were not disclosed in a joint statement from the CPA and Facebook. The statement said the parties signed a letter of intent to reach a deal only.
âThis financial support will help Country Press Australia members grow their digital businesses and reach new audiences,â said Andrew Hunter, Facebook’s information partnership manager for Australia and New Zealand.
âThis is part of our continued investment in Australian journalism and our collaboration with the news industry to build sustainable business models,â he added.
CPA President Andrew Manuel said Facebook’s funding “would help support original public service journalism in the multitude of regional and local communities” where the organization’s member newspapers are published.
Before Australia’s laws were passed, Facebook and Google campaigned against them, including a move by Facebook to briefly remove all content from the country’s news feeds. U.S. companies have since unveiled numerous deals, though some smaller publishers have said they still haven’t been able to make it to the negotiating tables. Read more
Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Christopher Cushing
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