Meta pulls out of Australian news deal

Albanese government and local media companies prepare for battle with Meta, who plans to cut $70 million yearly payouts to news publishers. Meta's refusal to negotiate new deals hits media giants hard, sparking government action.
07 March 2024
Image by CyberBeat

The Federal government and local media companies are set to clash with Facebook owner Meta as the digital giant plans to cease paying news publishers approximately $70 million annually for content. This decision has sparked outrage and swift responses from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, government officials, opposition parties, and media publishers.

Meta's refusal to negotiate new deals has dealt a significant blow to media companies like Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment, and News Corp, leading to potential losses in annual net profit. This move adds to the ongoing struggles faced by media organisations amidst an advertising crunch and cost of living crisis.

With Meta's decision to withdraw from agreements under the Australian code, designed to ensure fair compensation for publishers, Prime Minister Albanese has criticised the tech giant's actions as not aligning with Australian values. The Assistant Treasurer and Communications Minister also condemned Meta for neglecting its commitment to sustaining Australian news media.

The move by Meta, reminiscent of its refusal to pay Canadian publishers under similar legislation, has elicited criticism from industry veterans like former competition watchdog Rod Sims and Greens media spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young, who view it as detrimental to public interest journalism.

As tensions escalate, the standoff between the Albanese government and Meta intensifies, with the outcome poised to shape the future of news media in Australia.

- CyberBeat


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