Facebook restoring Australian news pages after deal with government

Australian news pages will be restored on Facebook in the coming days.

It comes after the federal government introduced further amendments to its media bargaining code legislation, which will be introduced to parliament.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said news would return to the newsfeeds of Australian Facebook users.

"The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in coming days," Mr Frydenberg said in a statement.

"These amendments will provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated."

A Facebook spokesman said the platform was pleased an agreement was able to be reached with the federal government.

"We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers," the spokesman said.

"After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value of our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them.

"As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in coming days."

Facebook had blocked Australians from accessing news on the social media platform on Thursday, in protest of the media bargaining code.

The new amendments include a two-month mediation period to give parties more time to create deals before a final offer arbitration process.

The government will also have to provide digital platforms one month's notice before any code is designated.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Frydenberg said other countries had been watching the developments between the government and Facebook play out.

"There is no doubt that Australia has been a proxy battle for the world," he said.

"I have no doubt that so many other countries are looking at what is happening here in Australia."

While the federal government previously said it would stop advertising on Facebook following from the news ban, Mr Frydenberg said government advertising would return to the social media platform.

"That is a welcome development, but so is today's news where Facebook has refrained Australia," he said.

More to come

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Picture: Shutterstock

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Picture: Shutterstock

This story News pages to be restored on Facebook first appeared on The Canberra Times.