CanadaPolitics

Federal government reaches deal with Google over Online News Act

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Google and the federal government have reached a deal in their dispute over the Online News Act, sources tell CityNews.

Multiple reports suggest the new agreement would see Canadian news continue to be shared on Google’s platforms. In return, the company would make annual payments to news companies in the range of $100 million.

The deal comes three weeks before the Online News Act, formerly Bill C-18, goes into effect. The bill received Royal Assent in June and will force digital giants to compensate media outlets for content that is shared or repurposed on their platforms.

Google had threatened to remove news from its search platform in Canada in response to the Trudeau government’s introduction of the bill.

Facebook’s parent company Meta ended its talks with the government last summer and has already stopped distributing Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram.

Companies will fall under the Act if they have platforms that receive more than 20 million unique Canadian visitors a month and have a global revenue of more than $1 billion. Facebook and Google are currently the only platforms that meet the requirements.

Ottawa released draft regulations earlier this year that revealed a new exemption in the Act that would allow the two companies to pay a certain amount to a group of news outlets. The figure was set at $172 million a year for Google, and $62 million a year for Meta.

The exemption was designed to give the tech giants the option to reach a deal with a collective group that would include independent and minority language outlets.

With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney and The Canadian Press

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