News Corp strikes deal with Facebook in Australia

Facebook said it's reached a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in Australia on Tuesday.

It's the next step to settle a dispute which briefly blacked out the social network's news feeds across the country.

It also makes News Corp the first major media outlet to strike a deal with Facebook under controversial new laws that make Facebook and Google pay Australian publishers for their content.

If they fail to do so, the law lets the Australian government step in and force them to pay fees.

In a statement, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson called the deal "a landmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism," and said it would have "a material and meaningful impact on our Australian news businesses."

Facebook's one-week blackout in Australia last month sparked a storm of criticism, as the shutdown also affected not only news... but emergency services and public health pages.

But the social media giant ultimately dropped its ban when Australia agreed to soften some parts of the new regulations.

Like Facebook, Google had also objected to the new laws and threatened to withdraw from Australia, but it changed tack and signed deals with most media outlets, including News Corp, in the days leading up to the law.

TV broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media previously said it intends to strike a Facebook deal, and rival Nine Entertainment announced Tuesday it had signed a letter of intent as well.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the Nine negotiations.