Google has pulled its decision to block news links in Canada after reaching an agreement with the government. The Mountain View-based company had previously threatened to remove news links from its search, Google News, and Google Discover pages in response to the Online News Act (Bill C-18) in Canada which comes into effect on December 19. However, the two sides have now come to a deal that will see Google continue to provide Canadian users with access to local news.
The deal is not unlike the agreement that Google made with the Australian government back in 2021, where both it and Meta came to an agreement to invest cash in local news outlets within the country.
The Canadian Minister of Heritage shared the “good news” on X. She wrote, “Following constructive discussions, our government and Google have reached an agreement – they will contribute to the #OnlineNewsAct. We worked hard to make this possible.” She further added, “This Act is good news for journalism, for online platforms, and Canadians.”
Google agreed to pay CAD 100 million per year to news publishers
Google has reached an agreement with Canadian news publishers to pay them about CAD 100 million (roughly $74 million) annually. This figure is substantially lower than the government’s initial estimate of $172 million in annual payments. However, it aligns with Google’s assessment of its financial obligations.
Before finalizing the deal, Google was worried about having to negotiate with each media organization separately. Instead, they will only need to negotiate with a group representing all the media organizations. This could help avoid any disagreements or disputes. However, the deal will be finalized once Google and the media representatives finish their negotiations.
Meta continues to block Canadian news links on its platforms
While Google has reached an agreement with the Canadian government, Meta has remained hesitant to engage in negotiations and continues to block Canadian news links on its platforms. CBC reports, that Meta has not shown any interest in resuming discussions with the government regarding the Online News Act (Bill C-18). Google and Meta are the only two companies that fall under the scope of this legislation.
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