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Canada & Google Reach Deal to Preserve News in Search Results Amidst Online News Act

 |  November 29, 2023

Canada and Google have successfully resolved their dispute over the implementation of the Online News Act, a pioneering legislation designed to compel major internet companies to share advertising revenue with news publishers in the country. Sources cited by CBC News on Wednesday confirm that both parties have reached a consensus, ensuring the continued presence of news stories on Google search results.

The dispute arose when Alphabet-owned Google announced its intention to block news on its platform in response to the impending Online News Act. However, the reported agreement, if confirmed, signifies a breakthrough that safeguards the availability of news on Google’s platforms.

Neither Google Canada nor the Canadian government immediately responded to requests for comment, but CBC News indicates that the agreement involves annual payments from Google to news companies totaling around C$100 million ($73.6 million). This financial arrangement is seen as a significant compromise, allowing Canadian news content to persist on Google while addressing concerns about fair compensation for news publishers.

Read more: Canada Parliament Questions Google Over Paying For News

The regulatory framework, a result of negotiations between the Canadian government and Google, was reportedly finalized earlier this week. The Online News Act, passed by the Canadian parliament in June as part of a global trend to ensure internet giants contribute to the funding of news content, is expected to have its rules released by the government by the looming December 19 deadline.

Google had expressed reservations about the stringent nature of Canada’s legislation compared to similar laws in Europe and Australia. The tech giant raised concerns about potential uncapped liability, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to ensure the sustainability of both news publishers and digital platforms.

The resolution of this dispute is not only a significant win for both parties involved but also sets a precedent in the ongoing global conversation surrounding the responsibilities of tech giants towards supporting traditional news outlets. As governments worldwide grapple with regulating the relationship between internet behemoths and news publishers, the Canadian agreement with Google provides a model for achieving a middle ground that addresses concerns on both sides.

Source: Reuters