Facebook signs deals to buy German media contents

Photo: AP

Facebook launched a campaign to sign contracts to use contents, provided by German media, Reuters reported. However, Germany’s major publisher Axel Springer at this point has declined to join the accord.

Described as a “dedicated venue for journalistic content”, Facebook News will feature reporting from the weeklies Die Zeit and Der Spiegel, and daily newspapers including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt and Tagesspiegel. “Part of our user base wants to read more news,” Jesper Doub, Facebook’s director of news partnerships in Europe, told reporters.

But Axel Springer, the publisher backed by private equity house KKR that puts out the Bild tabloid and conservative broadsheet Die Welt said it would not be joining. “Attempts by some platforms on the one hand to position themselves as news media, and on the other to fob off publishers with inadequate remuneration, are problematic,” a spokesman for Axel Springer said. Springer said it preferred to rely on European copyright rules that allow all publishers to receive an appropriate share of remuneration.

The broadside comes shortly after an unprecedented week-long news blackout by Facebook for its users in Australia over legislation that requires tech platforms to pay traditional news publishers to show their content. Facebook News has already launched in the United States and Britain, and will follow soon in France, added Doub. He did not disclose financial terms for the partnerships backing the German launch of Facebook News, which will also feature several regional newspaper partners as well as fashion, motoring and sports publishers.

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