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British newspapers to take multi-million pound knock as Meta pulls plug on European news content deals

 (PA) (PA Archive)
(PA) (PA Archive)

British newspapers are braced for a multi-million pound knock as social media giant Meta said it would end its news content deals with publishers across Europe.

The move, which Meta said was part of “an ongoing effort to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most,” would also involve the closure of Facebook News – a dedicated tab on Facebook in the bookmarks section of the platform that spotlights news – in early December.

Meta has not disclosed the precise sums of money involved in its deals with publishers, but they are thought to run into the tens of millions in the UK, according to the Guardian. Publishers in France and Germany will also be affected.


Reach Plc, which owns the Mirror, Daily Express and Star titles, has said it “works with Google and Facebook on their respective news initiatives for which [it] receives regular monthly fees.”

Meta said it would honour existing contracts until they run out, but would not be renewing them.

“As a company, we have to focus our time and resources on things people tell us they want to see more of on the platform, including short form video,” Meta said in a statement.

“We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content – they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests.”

Meta said it would continue to allow news articles to be shared and viewed on its platforms. However, the US firm has already blocked the sharing of news content in Canada, as a protest over a proposed law which would mandate the payment of fees to news publishers by social media platforms.

News makes up less than 3% of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed, according to the company.