Google to Implement News Blockade in Canada in Response to Publisher Payment Law
Google has announced its intention to block Canadian news content on its platform within Canada, following in the footsteps of Facebook's campaign against a newly implemented law that mandates payments to local news publishers.
The decision by Google, which is owned by Alphabet, involves the removal of Canadian news links from search results and other Google products within the country. This action will take effect approximately six months from now when the law comes into force.
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, made a similar declaration last week in response to the passing of Bill C-18, also known as the Online News Act.
Canada's media industry has been advocating for stricter regulations on internet giants to enable news organizations to recover from financial losses incurred during the years when Facebook and Google claimed a larger portion of the online advertising market.
According to Canada's independent budgetary watchdog, news businesses could potentially receive around 330 million Canadian dollars (equivalent to $249 million) per year through mandated agreements stipulated in the legislation.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, the bill's proponent, has clarified that the platforms are not immediately bound by the act's obligations. The government is willing to engage in consultations with them regarding the regulatory and implementation process.
Both Facebook and Google have expressed concerns about the proposed measures, deeming them unsustainable for their business operations. They have been signaling for months that news availability in Canada might be discontinued unless amendments are made to the act.