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Facebook says it will pay French publishers for news content

PARIS (AP) – Facebook announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with a group of French publishers to pay for links to their news shared by people on the social network.

The company claims to have signed the license agreement with the Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale, which represents 300 French publishers, to “improve the quality of online information for Internet users and publishers on Facebook”.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Facebook also announced that it would launch a French version of its Facebook News product in January, where the group’s editors could allow their stories to appear.

The licensing deal is the result of broader pressure from authorities in Europe and elsewhere to force Facebook and other social media companies to compensate publishers for the content. Governments have responded to media complaints that Internet companies are getting rich at their expense, selling advertising related to their stories without sharing the revenue.

France was the first of 27 countries in the European Union to adopt the 2019 Copyright bloc directive, which outlines a way for publishers and news organizations to enter into licensing agreements with platforms in line.

Google signed a similar framework agreement with the alliance this year, but discussions over license payments stalled, leading French regulators to slap Google with a hefty fine. for not having negotiated in good faith with the publishers.