Facebook to restore news pages for Australian users in the coming days


Facebook has reached an agreement with the Australian government and will restore news pages in the country days after restricting them.

The decision follows negotiations between the tech giant and the Australian government, which is set to pass a new media law that will require digital platforms to pay for news.

“After further discussion, we are pleased that the Australian government has accepted a number of changes and guarantees that address our primary concerns about enabling trade agreements that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them, “Facebook said in an updated statement.

The government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made last minute changes to the proposed media bargaining code that is in Parliament and is expected to be signed into law soon.

Those changes include a two-month mediation period to allow digital platforms and publishers to negotiate settlements before they enter arbitration as a last resort.

The arbitration clause in the media trading code has been one of Facebook’s main objection points.

It states that the arbitrator will rule in favor of either party, the digital platform, or the publisher, with no room for an intermediate agreement, according to experts.

Under the amendments, the Australian government will take into account the trade deals that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have already made with local media companies before deciding whether the code applies to tech giants.

The government will also notify digital platforms one month in advance before making the final decision.

The amendments are expected to provide “greater clarity” to digital platforms and news organizations on how the trading code will be implemented, the government said.

CNBC’s Will Koulouris contributed to this report.

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