Facebook on Tuesday said that it will lift its ban on Australians sharing news after agreeing on the deal with Australia’s government on legislation that would make the tech giant pay for journalism.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook affirmed that they have reached an agreement on amendments to the proposed law that require the social media network and Google to pay for Australian news that they feature.
"As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism, and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days," said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia.
Facebook last week had blocked out news for its Australian users and involuntary blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked to everything from cancer charities to emergency response services. This was done after the House of Representatives had passed the draft law late Wednesday.
Angry Prime Minister Scott Morrison had accused Facebook of deciding to "unfriend" Australia.
The Australian Senate will debate on the amended legislation on Tuesday.
“The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days,” Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement.
Google has been signing a contract with Australia’s largest media agencies in content licensing deals through its News Showcase model. It said it has made agreements with over 50 Australian authorities through Showcase and more than 500 publishers globally using the model which was launched in October.
Facebook will be negotiating settlements with Australian publishers under its model, Facebook News. “We are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to several changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them,” Facebook regional managing director William Easton said in a statement.
“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days, ” Easton added.
Both platforms will also get an extra two months to broker those agreements.
"We're pleased that we've been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we've had," said Easton.
The tech firms had strongly attacked the legislation, worrying that it would set an international example and that it would threaten their business ideals.