Canada’s federal government announced a deal with Google that will see the tech giant provide nearly two-thirds of a yearly Can$100 million payment to the country’s news outlets.
This payment aims to compensate for lost advertising revenue due to the distribution of their content.
After extensive negotiations, Ottawa and Google finalized what they described as a ‘historic’ agreement at the end of November. According to federal official briefing journalists, the allocation for television and radio outlets is capped at 30%, CBC/Radio-Canada at seven percent, leaving 63% for the written press.
The lion’s share of this financial support will be directed towards print media. This decision stems from the observation that print media heavily relies on online platforms for content distribution.
Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, hailed the agreement as a significant achievement, emphasizing the critical role of journalism in the country’s democracy. St-Onge highlighted the ongoing crisis in newsrooms, underscoring its impact on foundational democratic principles.
This landmark deal is part of the Online News Act, designed to bolster the struggling Canadian news sector. The sector has witnessed a substantial loss of advertising revenue, resulting in the closure of numerous publications over the past decade.
While the agreement primarily involves Google, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is also affected by the legislation. Meta, however, remains at odds with the new law, labeling it as ‘fundamentally flawed.’
In response to the impending legislation, Facebook and Instagram have been blocking news content in Canada since August 1, aiming to evade compensating media companies.