The code would create an arbitration panel to set a binding price for news in situations where Google and Facebook did not reach deals with media businesses whose original journalism they linked to.
William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement that the company was "satisfied" with the changes, adding that they addressed Facebook's "core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them".
To make matters more complicated, Facebook's initial ban meant even content by worldwide news publishers would not be allowed to be shared in Australia.
In a statement, Meg Sinclair, head of communications for Facebook Canada, said the company is "exploring" investments in news licensing and programs to support sustainability of journalism in Canada, but isn't in any discussions about specific licensing agreements.
Facebook said Tuesday that the changes allow it to choose which publishers it will support and indicated that it will now start striking such deals in Australia.
Under the amended legislation, Facebook received more time to negotiate with news publishers individually or as a group, rather than being forced to immediately begin paying for news content.
It says Google and Facebook wield too much power over the market, benefiting from journalism that appears on their platforms without fairly compensating the outlets that make it.
Camille Gagné-Raynauld, a spokesperson for Mr. Guilbeault, said in an e-mail that the federal government commends Australia and Facebook "for their commitment towards finding a lasting solution". It's worth remembering the code's aim was to balance out the bargaining imbalance between big tech platforms and news media businesses.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would raise its funding of news publishers to $1 billion over three years.
News was reinstated after the Senate passed controversial legislation which could compel Facebook and Google to pay for news content.
Facebook on Tuesday struck a similar agreement with Seven West Media, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metropolitan newspaper in the city of Perth.
Facebook said letters of intent had been signed with independent news organisations Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media. While cutting off news and, clumsily, some other sources of content such as health services, generated bad PR for Facebook, it seems to have fundamentally shifted the negotiation in its favour. Following the move, total traffic to Australian news sites fell by 13%, while referral traffic from outside the country plunged by 30%, according to analytics firm Chartbeat.
The amendments, announced today by the Australian government, includes one that could exempt Facebook from the proposed media payment law.
A message is seen on Facebook mobile in Melbourne, Australia on February 18, 2021. Amid calls to emulate the Australian plan in other countries, US lawmakers should avoid the temptation.