Facebook offering ‘millions’ to publishers for news

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is reportedly in talks with news publishers to offer “millions of dollars” for the rights to publish their material on its site. The move follows years of criticism over its growing monopolisation of online advertising to the detriment of the struggling news industry.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Facebook representatives had told news executives that they’d pay as much as USD3 million a year to license stories, headlines and other material. Facebook declined to comment but confirmed that the company is working on launching a “news tab” for its service this fall. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began talking about a news section on the service in April.

A person familiar with the matter confirmed that Facebook has approached News Corp about paying to license Wall Street Journal stories. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter.

The Journal report was not clear as to whether Facebook was offering USD3 million to individual publishers or in total to all news organisations.

Many in the news industry have long blamed Facebook and Google for using their content for free while the social network slurped up the majority of digital ad dollars, imperiling the news industry.

File photo shows a Facebook logo displayed at a business gathering in Paris. – AP