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Facebook to reverse news ban on Australian sites after deal with govt on law

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Canberra, Feb 23: Facebook ikely to lift a contentious ban on Australian news pages "in the coming days", after the government agreed to amend a world-first media law fiercely opposed by the tech giant.

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed in statements that they had reached agreement on amendments to proposed legislation that would make the social network and Google pay for news that they feature.

"As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism, and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days," said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia.

Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing and sharing news after the House of Representatives passed the draft law late Wednesday last week.

The Senate will debate amended legislation on Tuesday.

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    "The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days," Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement.

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