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Google to Keep News in Canada With New Deal

Google to Keep News in Canada With New Deal

Sarah Hardacre
Google has reached an agreement with the Government of Canada that will allow it to continue to display news content when the Online News Act (Bill C-18) comes into effect in late December.

Google has been working with Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge to express its concerns over the current draft of the regulation that would require tech platforms to compensate news outlets when they display their content.

In a statement, Pascale St-Onge was optimistic about the agreement. “Following weeks of productive discussions, I am happy to announce that we have found a path forward with Google for the implementation of the Online News Act. This will benefit the news sector and allow Google to continue to play an important role in giving Canadians access to reliable news content.”

Rather than requiring Google to negotiate with individual publishers, the deal in place will see Google pay an annual lump sum of $100 million CAD (indexed to inflation) into a fund for Canadian news outlets. Regulation and dispersion of this fund isn’t yet known.

“We engaged repeatedly with the government to find a solution,” Google explains. “We have successfully collaborated with governments and news publishers around the world on the shared goal of strengthening the news industry, and we currently have thousands of productive agreements with news publications around the world.”

In addition to direct financial contributions, Google will also continue to offer training programs and tools to Canadian news agencies.

Google will continue to offer news content in Canada while it works with the government “through the exemption process.”

The Government of Canada still needs to publish the updated regulations based on the negotiations and agreed proposals that address Google’s concerns. The final regulations should be published before the Online News Act comes into effect in late December.

Meta has taken a different approach to the introduction of Bill C-18. It stopped publishing news content in Canada in August. “Unlike search engines, we do not proactively pull news from the internet to place in our users’ feeds and we have long been clear that the only way we can reasonably comply with the Online News Act is by ending news availability for people in Canada,” said a spokesperson for Meta.

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