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Aust-Facebook fight a matter for them: US

The United States considers Australia's dispute with Facebook a business negotiation between private companies and the Australian government, the US State Department says.

US ally Australia is locked in a pitched battle with Facebook. The US-based social media giant blocked news feeds and other pages - including those of charities, and health and emergency services - as part of a dispute over a proposed law that would require Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google to pay news outlets whose links drive traffic to their platforms, or agree on a price through arbitration.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed on Friday to press ahead with the law, saying he had received support from world leaders.

Asked at a news briefing whether that included support from the United States, State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular news briefing: "This is a business negotiation between multiple private companies and the Australian government.

"Any questions on the status and implications of private business decisions should be directed towards those companies," he said.

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