Facebook is set to launch a “news tab” in the US, confirming reports that it has been contacting media companies to license their stories.
The social media giant has offered new executives up to $3m (£2.48m) a year to license their publications headlines and previews of articles a new tab, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
It comes as Google Search’s news tab has been criticised for replicating news publications work, headline and previews, without repaying them, and has even been banned in Spain.
Publishers including Bloomberg, The Washington Post, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal itself have been contacted as part of the project.
Facebook refused to discuss other publications it was targeting and whether the initiative would be rolled out in the uK too, although did confirm it would launch in the US before 2019 ends.
The news industry has seen a vast amount of advertising revenue transfer to Facebook and Google in recent years and a government-commissioned review published in February found the firms had had a detrimental impact on British news media.
A report from Sky News with research firm eMarketer found 61 per cent of UK media advertising went to Facebook or Google, with former European competition commission Margrethe Vestager describing the pair as “a de facto duopoly”.
“It concerns me, because we will have no free journalism, no free press, no criticism of those in power, if we don’t have media that is well funded, that can employ qualified journalists,” she said at the time.
“With fake news, the role is getting bigger, but the risk is there are fewer people to do it,” she added.
“From a European perspective, the fact that we have a number of different national markets complicates matters, because then you have strong players in the national markets, it’s not Google and Facebook.
“But the pattern, the general pattern is a clear trend towards Google and Facebook taking all the advertising revenue.”