Canada’s Online News Act Sparks Contrasting Responses from Meta and Google

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Google News

Google’s Collaborative Approach: A Financial Commitment to Canadian News

Thunder Bay – NEWS – In a landmark shift prompted by Canada’s Online News Act (Bill C-18), tech giants Meta and Google have adopted markedly different strategies.

Meta, overseeing platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has implemented a blanket ban on Canadian news content for its users. This drastic step, initiated in August 2023, aligns with Meta’s stance against the Act’s stipulation for internet companies to forge financial agreements with Canadian news publishers.

Conversely, Google has opted for a more harmonious route, agreeing to an annual $100 million CAD payment to the Canadian government, in line with the Act’s requirements. This move is widely regarded as a boon for local journalism, ensuring fair compensation from tech companies to news publishers.

In a statement Google says, “Following extensive discussions, we are pleased that the Government of Canada has committed to addressing our core issues with Bill C-18, which included the need for a streamlined path to an exemption at a clear commitment threshold.

“We thank the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, for acknowledging our concerns and deeply engaging in a series of productive meetings about how they might be addressed”.

“While we work with the government through the exemption process based on the regulations that will be published shortly, we will continue sending valuable traffic to Canadian publishers,” concluded Google.

Patty Hajdu MP
Patty Hajdu MP – Thunder Bay-Superior North

Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu lauds Google’s decision, emphasizing the vital role of local journalism in regions like Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario.

Hajdu tells NetNewsLedger, “This is excellent news for Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario because local journalists play an essential role in our region. They hold elected officials accountable, and they tell us what’s happening in our city halls. Their work has value, and tech giants should compensate them when they make money off of it”.

“This $100M settlement adds to the investments our government is making to keep local newsrooms open across the country,” Hajdu states, underscoring the agreement’s significance in sustaining independent journalism and promoting a free press.

Ultimately, the Online News Act has catalyzed divergent approaches from Meta and Google, igniting a broader conversation about the dynamics between technology corporations and news media, and the government’s regulatory role in this sphere.

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