Facebook unblocks Australia after media law amendments

Facebook is unblocking Australian after the government confirmed a number changes to new legislation that forces tech giants to pay for media content.

Last week Facebook blocked news stories for Australian users just days before the government planned to pass the law.

After talks with the social media platform’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg at the weekend, the government has made several amendments to the law, including allowing two months for tech companies to strike private deals for news content before the government arbitrator gets involved.

“Facebook has refriended Australia, and Australian news will be restored to the Facebook platform,” said Australian treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. “And Facebook has committed to entering into good faith negotiations with Australian news media businesses.”

In a statement Facebook said: “we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.”

Last Wednesday it was revealed a number of Australian media companies had secured lucrative deals with Google worth $47 million, despite the company threatening to cancel services in Australia last month.

The new law aims to address “bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media and digital platforms, specifically aimed at tech giants like Google and Facebook.

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