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Google Strikes $100 Million Deal with Canada, Resolving Dispute Over Online News Law

Google Seals C$100 Million Annual Deal with Canada to Preserve News in Search Results

Google has recently reached an agreement with the Canadian government pertaining to the inclusion of news stories within its search results.

The Canadian Heritage Minister has officially confirmed that the tech giant will be annually paying C$100 million to news publishers in the country. This particular arrangement has been devised to address the concerns of Alphabet-owned Google regarding Canada's online news law. The primary objective of this regulation is to compel major tech companies to share their advertising revenue with news publishers operating in Canada.

In a statement conveyed to the news agency Reuters, Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge expressed, “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 (Bill C-18).”

Alphabet's president of global affairs, Kent Walker, issued a statement as reported by the Verge, stating, “Following extensive discussions, we are pleased that the Government of Canada has committed to addressing our core issues with Bill C-18. While we work with the government through the exemption process based on the regulations that will be published shortly, we will continue sending valuable traffic to Canadian publishers.”

The Online News Act was passed by the Canadian parliament in June, aligning with the global trend of holding tech giants accountable by making them financially contribute to news sources. The government is currently in the process of finalizing rules that are expected to be released by a December 19 deadline.

Previously, Google had voiced its concerns, asserting that Canada's law was more stringent than those in Europe and Australia. The company raised apprehensions about potential unlimited liability exposure and even threatened to block news content on its platform within the country.

Beyond Google, Meta Platforms stands as the next tech giant under the scrutiny of this law. The social media major has labeled the bill as "fundamentally flawed" and has taken measures to block news sharing on Facebook and Instagram due to its reservations about the legislation.

According to information from Canadian news outlet CBC, the final regulatory language of Bill C-18 will enable Google to engage in negotiations with a single group representing media organizations. This approach aims to streamline the company's interactions, reducing the need to collaborate with numerous individual outlets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as quoted in the report, expressed satisfaction, stating, “After months of holding strong, of demonstrating our commitment to local journalism, to strong independent journalists getting paid for their work... Google has agreed to properly support journalists, including local journalism.”

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