Tech giant, Facebook has finally reached an agreement with the Australian government after several days of confrontational acts and has agreed to restore Australian news pages.
Australia and Facebook had a strained relationship over the week after the Australian government maintained the code that would force the social media platform to pay media companies for news content.
The Australian government has agreed to amend some of the policies that strongly affects the tech giant on the mandatory digital bargaining code.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg finalised the agreement on Tuesday morning, government and industry sources said.
In frantic negotiations, Mr Frydenberg spoke on three occasions to Mr Zuckerberg on Tuesday and three times earlier on Monday, before they struck a final compromise.
Facebook is back negotiating commercial deals with news organisations, ahead of the Senate being expected to pass the media bargaining code this week.
Facebook Australia managing director Will Easton, who confirmed this in a blog post, announced that the social media giant was pleased to reach an agreement with the government and was happy with constructive discussions with Mr Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.
His words, “We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers.
“After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.
“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.”
Among the government’s proposed additional amendments to the media bargaining code will be that a decision to designate a platform under the code must take into account whether it has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through commercial agreements with local media companies.
The government would notify a digital platform if it intends to designate the platform under the code, with the final decision about whether to include a platform made no sooner than one month after notification.
On their part, Frydenberg and Fletcher said, “The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days.”