News Update


Google will remove local news links in Canada according to the Online News Act.

Last Monday, Canada’s parliament passed the Online News Act, which requires platforms such as Google and Meta’s Facebook to negotiate contracts with news publishers.

Google’s action comes after Meta stated that it will likewise limit news content for Canadian customers.

The bill will go into effect in six months.

In Australia, a similar law was modified. That legislation was enacted two years ago, but Australian lawmakers amended it when Meta temporarily barred users in the nation from sharing or reading news on its services.

When the adjustments were implemented, the blackout ended, and Google and Meta have subsequently struck more than 30 arrangements with Australian media firms.

Google previously labeled the Canadian law’s current version “unworkable” and offered modifications. Google and Meta have both met with the government to discuss the legislation.

However, in response, the Canadian government stated that the legislation will assist offer fair remuneration to struggling news outlets and that it is required “to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market.”

Speaking to CTV News on Thursday afternoon, the minister in charge of the case, Pablo Rodriguez, expressed surprise at Google’s decision, saying that they had “conversations as recently as this morning.”

The Canadian parliament’s independent budget watchdog discovered that internet platforms might pay news organizations up to C$329 million ($248 million; £196 million) every year.

However, many of the same media associations and outlets who supported the bill may now face a threat to their businesses, as Google drives a large percentage of web traffic to Canadian news publications.

Google, for example, accounts for 30% of traffic to the Globe and Mail, publisher Phillip Crawley told parliament last month. Google drives 40% of traffic to Le Devoir, a famous French language daily, with social media accounting for approximately 30%.

Google did not say how long the embargo on local news connections would be in effect, or whether Canadian users would be offered links to stories about Canada from publications based outside of the nation.

“We have now informed the government that, when the law takes effect, we will unfortunately have to remove links to Canadian news from our Search, News, and Discover products in Canada,” Google wrote in a blog post.

“We do not take this decision or its implications lightly, and we believe it is critical to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as soon as possible,” the company stated.

Google Canada’s policy team told the BBC that the government had “not given us reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to resolve structural issues with the legislation.”

However, in a blog post on Thursday, the business stated that it intended to “participate in the regulatory process” and “continue to be transparent with Canadians and publishers as we move forward.”

News Media Canada, which represents hundreds of Canadian news organizations and advocated in support of the law, said it still believed there was a “viable path forward.””Rather than demonstrating their extraordinary market power by withholding access to timely, accurate news for Canadians, this is a time for all stakeholders to act in good faith, as responsible corporate citizens, and engage actively in the regulatory process to ensure that regulation is balanced, predictable, and fair,” the statement said.


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