Facebook said it made the move to avoid having to comply with Australia's proposed "Code" law. Google decided that its best option would be to preemptively negotiate deals with publishers.
"The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content," Facebook wrote in a blog post.
"Without fact-based news to anchor it, Facebook will become little more than cute cats and conspiracy theories," said activist Peter Lewis.
The agreement is a major victory for Murdoch and News Corp, which have long argued major tech firms should pay for the news content they display on their sites.