The Australian government appears to have capitulated in its battle with Facebook. In a statement on Facebook’s website Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships, wrote:
”After further discussions with the Australian government, we have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers. We’re restoring news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days. Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”
News.com.au reports that Australian politicians confirmed amendments will be added to the News Bargaining Code to “provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the Code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated.”
Reportedly some of the changes include a two-month mediation period which will allow Facebook to work out alternate deals outside of the code.
Microsoft has been a big supporter of the new Australian Media code, which was directly targetted at Facebook and Google and which would have forced them to fund news publishers in Australia. Google, who threatened to leave Australia, in the end, capitulated, but it appears Facebook, who stuck to their guns longer, won out in the end.