Google won’t block Canadian news after all

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Last year, the Canadian government introduced the Online News Act which prompted Meta to stop displaying Canadian news content on Facebook. Google also mentioned it would prevent Canadian news from showing in searches if the law passed. With only three weeks to go before the Online News Act is set to go live, the Canadian government and Google have apparently reached an agreement in which the latter would continue to display Canadian news on its platforms.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In a nutshell, the Online News Act or House of Commons Bill C-18, introduced in April 2022, laid out rules to force platforms like Meta and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content. Specifically, “Bill C-18 applies to digital platforms with 20 million unique monthly users and annual revenues of $1 billion,” criteria which only Meta and Google meet.

Talks broke down with Meta last summer and as a result, Canadian news hasn’t been displayed on Facebook or Instagram. Google, on the other hand, continued to discuss the issue with the Canadian government and have come to an agreement, according to CBC News.

“Having taken this first step with Google is important,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly. “It is one more solution to ensure the viability of the media and restore a balance between commercial platforms.”

Earlier this year, the Canadian government estimated that Google should have to pay nearly $172 million to Canadian news agencies in exchange for displaying links and blurbs from those agencies on Google’s various platforms, including Search and News. In the supposed agreement, Google will pay roughly $100 million per year to those agencies. The exact agreement hasn’t been completed yet as Google will be negotiating with a single point of contact that would represent all Canadian media, hopefully streamlining the process.

What do you think about the Canadian Online News Act and the government’s agreement with Google? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.


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