Facebook has unfriended Australia. The social network’s news blackout came hours after Canberra trumpeted its “historic, world-leading” plans to divert some tech profits to news publishers. But it would be premature to conclude that legislators overreached. Google's deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp vindicates the proposed law’s ability to bring warring parties to the table.

The stakes were not as high for Facebook. It says news makes up less than 4% of the content in people’s feeds, even though it is the most important source of information for many. For Google, by contrast, news plays an integral role in search, even if the ad revenues sold against it are relatively small...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now