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ACCC Wants Facebook To Strike Deals With Small Publishers Too

Australia’s consumer watchdog has called on Facebook to also ink deals with small, local publishers to avoid regulation under the government’s controversial media code.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said the social media giant still has a “fair way to go” to strike more news deals with publications.

It comes a day after Facebook agreed to reverse its Australian news ban and signed an agreement with Seven West Media – much like Google has with major publications across the country.

“Everyone has got to get appropriate compensation and the ball is now in Facebook and Google’s court for that across the board offer to pick up the smaller players,” Sims said during a parliamentary economics committee.

While Facebook looks to negotiate lucrative deals with Australia’s biggest publishers, smaller players and niche mastheads are concerned they will be left out in the cold, industry sources claim.

Sims said while the proposed News Media Bargaining Code had already successfully strong-armed Facebook into entering commercial deals with major news publishers, niche publications will struggle against the “sheer market power” of Google and Facebook.

“We’ve got a way to go of course, because obviously we want all eligible media companies to have deals and that includes the smaller players, as well as the larger players,” he added.

Seven revealed on Tuesday it had signed a letter of intent to share news with Facebook and sources claim News Corp and Nine are also negotiating agreements with the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company.

Google has already signed deals with most of Australia’s prominent news publishers, including News Corp, Guardian Australia, Nine and Seven West Media.

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