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Facebook pulled the plug on news in Australia on Wednesday night, staring down looming Australian legislation that would force it and Google to pay publishers in the country for content that appears on their platforms.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with Axios media reporter Sara Fischer on why Facebook pulled news articles off its site, what it means for Australian users and publishers, and what it means for other countries that want to pursue similar legislation.

Go deeper

Feb 18, 2021 - Technology

Australia's news law prods Google, Facebook down opposite paths

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the Australian government told tech platforms they had to start paying publishers for the headlines and links that fill their users' posts, Google caved but Facebook walked.

Why it matters: These companies' moves Wednesday — as Google struck a deal with News Corp to evade Australia's forthcoming rules, while Facebook essentially barred news content there — could shape how news companies are compensated for their work online for years to come.

Feb 17, 2021 - Technology

Facebook to restrict users from sharing news in Australia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook on Wednesday said it would restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content in response to a new law requiring tech platforms to reimburse news publishers.

Why it matters: The move sets a precedent for how Facebook may handle other global efforts to force it to pay news publishers for their content.

Feb 17, 2021 - Economy & Business

Google strikes 11th hour deals with Australian publishers to avoid new law

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Google on Wednesday said that it finally struck a multiyear deal with News Corp, the largest owner of newspapers by circulation in Australia, to pay for its content.

Why it matters: The deal, along with several others reached between Google and Australian publishers in recent days, will likely allow the tech giant to avoid a sweeping new Australian law that would have forced it and rival Facebook to pay publishers on terms set by third-parties if they were unable to reach agreements themselves.