Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has signed a licensing deal with Facebook in Australia, marking an end to a dispute that saw the social media site instigate a news blackout in the country.
The publishing group said it has reached a three-year agreement with Facebook to provide news and information to millions of users in the country. Financial details were not disclosed.
The agreement involves titles such as The Australian, The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald Sun in Victoria and The Courier-Mail in Queensland, as well as a number of regional newspapers.
Sky News Australia has also reached a parallel agreement, the company said.
The tie-up makes News Corp the first major media outlet to strike a deal with Facebook under Australia’s new laws.
Politicians had been preparing legislation that would force tech firms such as Facebook and Google to pay for news links that appeared on their platforms amid concerns they were unfairly diverting advertising revenue away from publishers.
But the proposals were met with fierce opposition and Facebook shut down thousands of pages, including emergency services and public health pages, in protest.
The widely-condemned blackout ended after politicians softened the laws to encourage private deals between the two sides before the need for a government-appointed arbitrator.
Google, which also criticised the proposed laws, struck a similar licensing deal with News Corp while debates over the bill were still ongoing.
“The agreement with Facebook is a landmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism, and will have a material and meaningful impact on our Australian news businesses,” said News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson.
“Mark Zuckerberg and his team deserve credit for their role in helping to fashion a future for journalism, which has been under extreme duress for more than a decade.”