Facebook had reached an agreement with the Australian government to resume news services in the country after several days of restricting news pages.
Before making this decision, the technology giant negotiated with the Australian government. The Australian government is about to pass a new media law requiring digital platforms to pay for news.
Facebook said in the latest statement: ‘After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to some changes and commitments that address our core concerns.’
The government led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia revised the proposed ‘News Media Negotiation Act’ at the last minute.
Currently, the regulation has been passed in Parliament, and it is supposed that it will be voted into law soon. The bill was introduced in Parliament in December last year.
According to the amendments to the proposed bill, the Australian government will consider the commercial agreements that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have reached with local news media companies before deciding whether the guidelines pertain to these technology giants.
The Australian government will also notify these digital platforms one month in advance before the final decision. Additionally, the rectification will also include a two-month mediation period, allowing digital platforms and publishers to negotiate before finally resorting to arbitration.
The government said that this amendment is supposed to give digital platforms and news organizations ‘further clarity’ on how the agreement will be implemented.
Australia wants digital platforms to pay local media and publishers to link their content to news feeds or search results.
Experts stated that if the two parties cannot reach a commercial agreement, the government-appointed arbitrator can determine the final cost by making a favorable ruling on either party, and there is no room for an intermediate agreement. Previously, the arbitration clause has been one of the main reasons Facebook opposed it.