Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) - Chairman, Kerry Stokes (left), and CEO, James Warburton
Chairman, Kerry Stokes (left), and CEO, James Warburton
Source: The Weekly Times
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  • Facebook will reverse its ban on Australian news, and Seven West Media (SWM) was quick to sign a deal with the tech giant
  • On Tuesday afternoon, Seven West revealed it signed a letter of intent to provide news to the online platform
  • The original ban, in response to a proposed media bargaining code, was quick to crop up — but reinstating the news will be a slower process
  • Seven West’s deal with Facebook will also take time, set to play out over a 60-day process
  • Shares in Seven West are up 5.56 per cent to 57 cents per share

Facebook and Australia have made up to reinstate news for Aussie users — and Seven West Media (SWM) has already struck a deal.

After market close on Tuesday, Seven revealed a partnership to provide news for the American platform. A letter of intent has been signed for a 60-day plan.

Seven Chairperson Kerry Stokes celebrated the deal in a written announcement.

“The establishment of this new partnership with Facebook is a significant move for our business and reflects the value of our original news content across our successful metropolitan and regional broadcast, digital and print properties,” he said.

Less than a week ago, Facebook blocked all Australian news from being shared or posted through its platform.

This was in response to the Australian Government’s proposed media bargaining code. However, Facebook is planning to welcome back Australian news to its platform — pending amendments made to the proposal by the government.

“These partnerships would not have been possible without the leadership and vision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, and we thank them,” the Seven Chairperson continued.

Seven West welcomes digital change

Unlike some traditional news publishers that remain hesitant to cooperate with the digitisation of media, Seven bargained a similar deal earlier this month with Google.

Deeming it a “long-term partnership”, the media company signed a letter of undertaking with the popular search engine’s new platform, Google Showcase.

“Like our new, market-leading partnership with Google, our agreement with Facebook is an important part of the strategy to transform our company and build Australia’s leading news and entertainment content business,” Seven West Chief Executive, James Warburton, said.

“Both agreements are a significant step forward for Australian news media and are a clear acknowledgement by all parties of the value and importance of original news content”.

Other media outlets signed the same deal with Google, including the ABC and The Guardian. Such deals are estimated to be worth up to $150 million per year for the Australian journalism industry.

Shares in Seven West are up 5.56 per cent to 57 cents per share at 11:19 am AEDT.

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