After Google, Facebook says it will invest $1 billion to support news industry over the next 3 years

Facebook, following in Google’s footsteps, says it plans to invest $1 billion to support the news industry over the next three years. The social networking giant, which has been tussling with Australia over a law that would make social platforms pay news organisations, said it has invested $600 million since 2018 in news. Google said in October that it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years. News companies want Google and Facebook to pay for the news that appears on their platforms. Governments in Europe and Australia are increasingly sympathetic to this point of view.

Facebook also announced on Friday that it signed preliminary agreements with three Australian publishers, a day after the Parliament passed a law that would make the digital giants pay for news. Facebook said letters of intent had been signed with independent news organisations Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media.

Facebook says it has invested USD 600 million since 2018 in news. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Facebook and Google companies suck up the majority of US digital advertising dollars, which among other problems has hurt publishers. Earlier this week, Facebook also said it would lift a ban on news links in Australian after the government agreed to tweak proposed legislation that would help publishers negotiate payments with Facebook and Google.

Facebook was criticised for its ban, which also temporarily cut access to government pandemic, public health and emergency services on the social networking site.

Facebook had said that the changes allow it to choose which publishers it will support and indicated that it will now start striking such deals in Australia.

Google had already been signing content licensing deals with Australian media companies, and says that it has arrangements with more than 50 publishers in the country and more than 500 globally.

With inputs from Press Trust of India

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