Australia

Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook, following in Google’s footsteps, says it plans to invest $1 billion to “support the news industry” over the next three years.

The social networking giant, which has been tussling with Australia over a law that would make social platforms pay news organizations, said it has invested $600 million since 2018 in news.

Google said in October that it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years.

News companies want Google and Facebook to pay for the news that appears on their platforms. Governments in Europe and Australia are increasingly sympathetic to this point of view. The two tech companies suck up the majority of U.S. digital advertising dollars, which — among other problems — has hurt publishers.

Facebook said on Tuesday it would lift a ban on news links in Australian after the government agreed to tweak proposed legislation that would help publishers negotiate payments with Facebook and Google. Facebook was criticized for its ban, which also temporarily cut access to government pandemic, public health and emergency services on the social networking site.

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.

Google had already been signing content licensing deals with Australian media companies, and says that it has arrangements with more than 50 publishers in the country and more than 500 globally.

There may be more such regulation in other countries. Microsoft is working with European publishers to push big tech platforms to pay for news. European Union countries are working on adopting copyright rules that allow news companies and publishers to negotiate payments.

TALI ARBEL, AP Technology Writer

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles Lakers waive 2-time champion guard Quinn Cook

Backup guard Quinn Cook has been waived by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The defending NBA champions announced the move Wednesday, shortly before Cook’s contract would have been guaranteed.

Cook averaged 2.1 points while appearing in 16 games this season for the Lakers, who also waived him in November before re-signing him in December.

Cook was a popular locker room presence who was also a backup on last season’s title-winning team, averaging 5.1 points while winning his second NBA championship ring in three years. Before joining the Lakers in 2019, Cook spent two seasons with Golden State.

Cook’s departure opens a second roster spot for the Lakers, whose need for a backup center has seemed obvious lately. Marc Gasol has started 32 games for Los Angeles, and All-Star big man Anthony Davis is out for at least three more weeks with a calf injury.

The Lakers (22-10) are on their first three-game losing streak of the season heading into their game at NBA-leading Utah on Wednesday night.

Associated Press