Google, Canada Reach Deal Over Planned Online News Law
By Robb M. Stewart
OTTAWA--Canada's government has struck a deal with Google over
its controversial Online News Act that will see Canadian news
continue to be shared on Google's online platforms in return for
annual payments of 100 million Canadian dollars ($73.7 million) to
support news businesses.
Pascale St-Onge, minister of Canadian heritage, said a path
forward with Google was reached after weeks of discussions for the
implementation of the law that aims to make large internet
companies share advertising revenue with news publishers in the
The agreement is part of what the Liberal government has said is
a push to create a fairer relationship between digital platforms
and journalism in Canada, something St-Onge said has never been
more at risk as newsrooms cut jobs or close entirely.
As part of the framework reached with Alphabet-owned Google, the
company will pay $100 million in support each year, indexed to
inflation, for a wide range of news business, including independent
operations and those from indigenous and minority communities,
St-Onge said. She said Google would have the option to work with a
single collective to distribute the money to all eligible
businesses based on headcount.
Google had threatened to block links to Canadian news on its
platforms when the online news law takes effect at the end of the
year. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for
Under a draft regulation from the government, the bill would
have seen Google contribute as much as C$172 million to news
organizations, though Google had said it expected a figure closer
to C$100 million.
The government had pledged to implement a tax on big technology
companies back in 2020, targeting big digital platforms like
Google, Netflix and Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platforms for
digital oversight. However, officials in U.S. President Biden's
administration and senior Congress officials have warned of
possible U.S. retaliation should the law kick in.
The Online News Act is part of a trend around the world urging
big internet companies to pay for news content that appears on
their sites when it generates money for tech companies. St-Onge
held out the possibility of reopening the agreement with Google if
a better deal with digital platforms is reached elsewhere in the
St-Onge said further details about the final regulations would
be disclosed after approval by the Treasury Board of Canada and
prior to the act coming into effect Dec. 19.
The government said Google indicated it will continue to make
programs available for Canadian news businesses, such as training,
tools and resources for business development and support for
non-profit journalism projects. The company also provided
assurances that Canadian news businesses will continue to be
treated commensurately with their global peers and if that no
longer becomes the case it will discuss the matter with Ottawa and
the industry with a view to resolving any concerns.
Write to Robb M. Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 29, 2023 14:50 ET (19:50 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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