Facebook to end news deals with Australian media

News Media Bargaining Code hangs in the balance as Facebook announces it will not renew deals to pay for Australian news.

Facebook has confirmed it will no longer pay Australian media outlets for news after their current contracts expire.

Facebook currently has deals in place with ABC, Seven, Nine and 10 under the government’s News Media Bargaining Code (which also includes Google).

Those broadcasters have been able to channel funds into further journalism and employment in Australia.

Parent company Meta has indicated it will deprecate Facebook News – a dedicated tab in the bookmarks section on Facebook that spotlights news – in the US and Australia from April,  following a similar shut down in the UK, Germany and France last year.

“This is part of an ongoing effort to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most,” Meta said in a statement. “As a company, we have to focus our time and resources on things people tell us they want to see more of on the platform, including short form video. The number of people using Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. has dropped by over 80% last year.

“We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content — they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests. As we previously shared in 2023, news makes up less than 3% of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed, and is a small part of the Facebook experience for the vast majority of people.”

But the Albanese govt has described the move as a “dereliction” of its commitment to the sustainability of Australian news media.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said in a statement, “The Government has made its expectations clear. The decision removes a significant source of revenue for Australian news media businesses. Australian news publishers deserve fair compensation for the content they provide.

“The Australian Government is committed to the News Media Bargaining Code and is seeking advice from Treasury and the ACCC on next steps.

“We will now work through all available options under the News Media Bargaining Code. The Government will continue to engage with news publishers and platforms through this process.

“The Albanese Government is committed to promoting a strong, sustainable and diverse media sector given its vital importance to our democracy and social cohesion.”


“Meta’s decision does not recognise the significant and increasing value of Nine’s journalism, unique content and brands to its platforms.

“We believe the News Media Bargaining Code provides an appropriate framework for a fair value exchange between companies.

“Regardless of the Meta announcement today, the value created on their platform from the use of Nine’s IP is both unquestionable and growing and we strongly believe Meta should negotiate in good faith around the fair compensation for that value exchange.

“We welcome the government’s comments that recognise Meta has acted unreasonably and support its commitment to seek a fair outcome for Australian news media. We will work closely and constructively with the government and the relevant regulators to achieve this.

“We will continue to robustly advocate that these deals are in the national interest and the arguments that led to the code in the first place remain as strong as ever.” – Mike Sneesby, Nine CEO.

Free TV:

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said “The announcement from Meta that it will no longer pay for the use of Australian news content on Facebook is disappointing but unsurprising.  We call on the Government to immediately designate all Meta platforms – Facebook, Instagram and Reels – under the News Media Bargaining Code, and require it to pay a fair price for the news content shared widely on its platforms.  Meta does not employ any Australians to produce news but captures significant value from the sharing of trusted news content as part of its service offering.

“There has never been a more important time for news media businesses to receive fair remuneration for their trusted news content that is relied upon by all Australians.  The ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry Report laid bare the unprecedented levels of market dominance by Facebook and the importance for sustainable local news providers of being fairly remunerated for their content on these platforms. The News Media Bargaining Code legislation already gives the Government the power to act on this important issue and it should do by designating Facebook without delay.”


Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said: “Meta needs to be designated. The case has not only been made but proven and we welcome Ministers Jones and Rowland’s commitment to the News Media Bargaining Code. We will work constructively with the ACCC and Treasury to ensure their designation.”


“This is an arrogant act by a company with too much power that thinks it is beyond the reach of any government,” said MEAA Media Federal President Karen Percy.

“Meta and Google make billions of dollars each year by monetising the traffic generated by news content on their sites and until the News Media Bargaining Code was in place, there was no compensation to media outlets.

“Abandoning support for news by social media platforms leaves their users vulnerable to even more misinformation at a time when reliable and credible public interest journalism is needed to prevent it.

“This is another reason why Meta should not be allowed to walk away from its obligations.”

Screen Producers Australia:

“Whatever the outcome of the blowtorch being applied to Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, the role of the Australian Government is to stand up for Australian consumers and Australian businesses in the face of this shameless abuse of market power,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“As the Australian Government also prepares to bring forward legislation to regulate streaming platforms, it is a timely reminder that without robust laws, Australian businesses face ruthless business negotiations every day and have very little sway in the tough global marketplace.

“Without regulation of streaming services, the ability for Australian audiences to continue to see and hear Australian stories and Australian voices on their screens can similarly be switched off or put on hold by a decision in another country. That is not acceptable.

“It is right that the Australian Government now steps up to act in support of Australia’s national interest, whether that be for new journalism businesses or Australian screen audiences and businesses.

“Without strong laws, we all lose.”

This post updates.

2 Responses

  1. I don’t really see a problem with it, Meta is a private company and they can do as they see fit. They have removed the ‘News’ tab from France, Germany and UK last year, I didn’t hear a stink about it.
    I don’t utilise their platforms and wouldn’t use it as a news aggregator.
    The issues is with media organisations not receiving an extra income stream, and the government will end up bailing them out, which in turn can cause issues of free speech.
    Media organisations were around long before Facebook/Meta.

  2. I don’t understand why FB have to pay. If the news stations want to give their content away to get viewers later in the day, isn’t that their decision??

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