Bill C-18 is heating up today as conversations between the Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and Google (GOOGL) and Facebook (META) continue.
The Canadian Government is taking a firm stand, despite being informed that Google is now blocking some news in a recent test phase.
“We’ve been fully transparent about our concern that C-18 is overly broad and, if unchanged, could impact products Canadians use and rely on daily,” added Google spokesman Shay Purdy.
A spokesperson for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Canadians will not be intimidated.
“Canadians need access to quality, fact-based news at the local and national levels, and that’s why we introduced the Online News Act. Tech giants need to be more transparent and accountable to Canadians,” the spokesperson said.
The cost for Google and Meta
If Bill C-18 goes through, the online news act would require both Google and Meta to sign deals with Canadian News publishers. Funding from this could amount to 30 per cent of what it currently costs to produce news in the country.
Some see this as good news, even necessary, as Canadian media companies do not get compensation for having their work republished on Google and Meta platforms.
One of the many areas of discussion is not that Google and Meta are stealing news to publish on their site but how they have freely grown and now have a monopoly on advertising. As it stands, the pair have a hold of 80 per cent of digital advertising revenue.
More issues with Bill C-18
Other issues with the bill have arisen. Discussions have been ongoing around making changes to Bill C-18, with an offer to expand eligibility criteria to “ma and pa” outlets. Implementing such amendments would allow smaller news outlets the opportunity to stay.
The bill passed in December and is scheduled for discussion in the Senate in the following months.
Google (GOOGL) is down under 1 per cent, trading at $ 90.89 at close.
Facebook (META) is up over .50 per cent, trading at $ 172.04 at close.
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Google runs tests blocking some Canadian news content