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BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Axel Springer and Facebook have surprisingly agreed on a comprehensive cooperation after years of discussions. The media group and Facebook announced on Monday in Berlin that the cooperation was set up worldwide and aimed at distributing content. According to this, Axel Springer content is to be increasingly distributed in various offers on the platform, including in the “Facebook News” product. The deal also includes video content from the Springer Group and an expansion of the contract to the Springer service provider Upday. Neither side wanted to provide any information on the financial conditions.
Facebook announced in March that it would present news content from numerous publishers and media brands from Germany in a separate area. The media houses are paid to link to “Facebook News” content that was previously not shown on the platform. But they don’t have to be specially produced for Facebook.
It is not publicly known how much money Facebook will spend on the project in Germany. However, the online group had announced that it would invest around one billion dollars worldwide in the media industry over the next three years. “Facebook News” in Germany is part of it.
In the meantime, the media company Axel Springer, which has the media brands “Bild” and “Welt” in its portfolio, and Facebook have signed a letter of intent. The future press ancillary copyright law is expressly excluded from this, explained Springer. Like other publishers, Germany’s largest publisher expects the implementation of EU law to give itself a better negotiating position with US platforms such as Google (Alphabet C (ex Google)) and Facebook.
The CEO of Axel Springer, Mathias Dpfner, said that the global cooperation was a strategic milestone for the company and the entire industry. “The relationship between content providers and platforms has now become fairer and more predictable for both sides.” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, said people who search for news on Facebook should have access to content that covers the variety and depth of topics that matter most to them. “With the introduction of Facebook News and the global partnership with Axel Springer, we can offer people an even larger selection of reliable journalistic content from a variety of media brands.”
In March, when Facebook announced its first cooperation partner, the name Axel Springer was looked for on the list in vain. A company spokesman said that participation in “Facebook News” in Germany should not be viewed in isolation, but rather as part of a global cooperation. “We have never fundamentally opposed collaborations and are already working with Facebook and other tech platforms in other areas.” Collaboration has also made Springer dependent on the “willingness to recognize the importance that the content of publishers has for the products of the platforms”.
It was not clear on Monday whether Springer might also take part in the “Google Showcase” project in the future. The group spokesman said on this question: “We are currently seeing with some platforms in fact that they are increasingly willing to recognize the importance that the content of publishers have for their products.” Years of persuasion by Springer and others, but also current regulatory developments, would certainly have made a contribution to this. “We are confident that this development will continue. And that means that further cooperation with other platforms is in principle conceivable.” / So / DP / fba