Facebook made a deal with Australia and returned to the news site
Facebook made a deal with Australia and returned to the news site

Facebook has reached an agreement with the Australian government and is working to restore news sites in Australia after days of restrictions.

The decision came after negotiations between the tech giant and the Australian government over passing a new media law that would make digital platforms pay for information.

Facebook said: After further discussion, we are excited to see the Australian government approve many of the changes and we are committed to respecting our primary interest in permitting business transactions that recognize the value we get from publishers. In recognition of our valuable platform provided to publishers.

"Because of these changes, we can now work hard to increase our investment in nonprofit journalism and bring the news to Australians on Facebook in the coming days," she added.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's administration has made the most recent changes to the News Media Negotiations Act that was introduced by Parliament and is expected to come to a vote soon.

If passed, the law will force digital platforms to pay local media and publishers to link their content to news sources or search results.

According to amendments to the bill, the Australian government will review business deals between digital platforms and local news companies before determining whether the law applies to tech giants.

The government will also send a notice to the digital platform a month before the final decision.

It also includes a two-month mediation period, allowing digital platforms and publishers to mediate prior to the deal, as a last resort to initiate arbitration.

One of Facebook's main objections is the arbitration clause. The bill states that a government-appointed arbitrator can set the final price by fixing a party without the possibility of bargaining if the parties fail to reach a deal.

The government said Tuesday's amendment aims to provide digital platforms and the media with clearer information on how to implement the negotiation law.

The government added that it has also increased incentives for all parties to participate in commercial negotiations outside the Media Negotiations Act.

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