Facebook has agreed to restore news for its Australian users in the coming days after holding discussions with the federal government.
The social media giant dramatically escalated its fight with the government last week, barring Australians from accessing news sites on the platform.
The move came as part of Facebook’s fight against the Federal government’s media bargaining code, which would force tech giants to pay news outlets for news content accessed on their platforms.
But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed Facebook would walk back the measure after holding constructive talks.
“The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days,” he said in a statement.
The government confirmed on Tuesday it would introduce further amendments to the code, which has been met with fierce resistance by Google and Facebook.
They included a measure that would ensure whether a tech giant had “made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry” would be factored in before they were designated under the code.
“The amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining appropriate remuneration for the use of their content by the digital platforms,” Mr Frydenberg.
The government has encouraged tech giants to strike deals with news outlets outside of the code, a call met by Google, which reached a flurry of arrangements with major Australian outlets last week.
But Facebook last week carried out its threat to remove news altogether from the platform, arguing it fundamentally undermined the way its platform operated.
“(The plan) has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia,” it said.
“With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”
Mr Frydenberg criticised the move as “unnecessary heavy-handed”, saying the government remained committed to legislating the code.
But said he remained optimistic Facebook would return to the table.