Meta will no longer pay Australian publishers after refusing to renew Facebook deals


Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced it will cease payments to Australian news publishers, effectively ending its financial agreements when they expire later this year.
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This decision marks a significant shift in the tech giant’s approach to news content on its platform and has drawn sharp criticism from some of Australia’s biggest newsrooms and government officials alike.

The expiring deals also spells the end of the Facebook News Tab in Australia.

Meta signed deals, worth millions of dollars, back in 2021 to pay some of the country’s biggest publishers, including Seven West Media, Nine and ABC, in response to the Australian government’s News Media Bargaining Code. The code, introduced to address the power imbalance between digital platforms and news publishers, could force Meta into arbitration and potential fines if it fails to compensate news publishers.

It’s not the first time the Australian government has gone head-to-head with billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s social media empire. In 2021, Facebook temporarily banned all news content on its platform in response to the proposed media bargaining code, a ban that was swiftly lifted after negotiations with the government.

At this stage, it appears Facebook will not block access to Australian news content when the existing deals expire.

In a statement released on Friday, Meta defended its decision by stating that users do not primarily use Facebook to access news and political content, suggesting a strategic realignment of its investments towards services and products valued most by its users.

“This is part of an ongoing effort to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most,” the statement said.

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