Facebook Reportedly Offering ‘Millions’ To News Firms Against Content Rights

Faecbook wants to publish news content of news publishers on its social media platform and is reportedly holding talks with such companies. Reports have suggested that the largest social media company is ready to “millions of dollars” to get the rights to the news content materials.

For years, Facebook has been criticized by many because of its increasing monopoly over the market for online advertising which has proven to be detrimental for the global news agency as traditional news outlets and companies are struggling to get revenues from advertisement.

This news related to Facebook was first published in the Wall Street Journal. The report claimed that representatives from the social media company has initially offered as much as $3m a year to executives of news companies to transfer rights of publishing stories, headlines and other news related materials.

There was no comment available from Facebook. But the social media company confirmed that it is in the process of developing and launching a “news tab” for its service by this fall. Indications of this were available since April in various comments made by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, news companies such as ABC News, Dow Jones, the Washington Post and Bloomberg has been pitched to be part of the new tab by Facebook.

According to the report based on source information, News Corp has been contacted by Facebook in relation to paying towards licensing to publish stories and news published in the Wall Street Journal. The report in the Journal however did not make it clear whether Facebook was paying the $3m to each of the individual news outlets and publishers or it was the value of total budget that the company intended to spend in its this effort.

A large section of the global news industry – especially the print media, has been complaining for a long time against Facebook and Google that their content and news material without paying them anything while the advertisement money was moving from the traditional media to the social media companies. That was hurting the news industry significantly. According to a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress this year aims to give an antitrust exemption to news companies which allows the news companies to get together and negotiate money against news content from the big tech platforms.

There were no comments in the Washington Post from the owners of the news paper itself even though it was also mentioned in the report as a new company that was approached by Facebook. The report also did not carry any comment from other companies that were reportedly approached by Facebook for content, including The Walt Disney Co, which owns ABC.

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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