Facebook to invest $1 bln in news industry

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Facebook trying to put its best face forward. The social networking giant pledged Wednesday to invest at least $1 billion in the news industry over the next three years.

Companies like Facebook and Alphabet’s Google have been under scrutiny over their business model as well as the proliferation of misinformation on their platform.

The announcement comes just one day after it agreed to “refriend” Australia, ending an unprecedented week-long blackout.

Facebook had been locked in a stand-off with Canberra after the government proposed legislation that would require tech giants to pay traditional media companies for their content.

Facebook then blocked Australian users from sharing and viewing news content. Publishers and the government cried foul.

Facebook restored Australian news pages on Tuesday after wringing concessions from the government. The official who helped draft Australia’s laws of paying for content claimed victory Wednesday, but critics said last-minute changes to appease Facebook favored Big Tech over smaller news outlets.

Facebook said it has already invested $600 million in the news industry since 2018. It also said it’s actively negotiating with German and French news publishers for a deal to pay for content.

Facebook shares fell in early trading Wednesday.

Video Transcript

- Facebook trying to put its best face forward-- the social networking giant pledged Wednesday to invest at least $1 billion in the news industry over the next three years. Companies like Facebook and Alphabet's Google have been under scrutiny over their business model, as well as the proliferation of misinformation on their platforms. The announcement comes just one day after Facebook agreed to re-friend Australia, ending an unprecedented week-long blackout. Facebook had been locked in a standoff with Canberra after the government proposed legislation that would require tech Giants to pay traditional media companies for their content.

Facebook then blocked Australian users from sharing and viewing news content. Publishers and the government cried foul. Facebook restored Australian news pages on Tuesday after wringing concessions from the government. The official who helped draft Australia's laws of paying for content claimed victory Wednesday.

But critics said last-minute changes to appease Facebook favored big tech over smaller news outlets. Facebook said it has already invested $600 million in the news industry since 2018. It also said it's actively negotiating with German and French news publishers for a deal to pay for content. Facebook shares fell in early trading Wednesday.