Tag: Meta

Online News Act could see Google, Meta pay combined $234 million to Canadian media

The federal government has put a price tag on what it would like to see Google and Facebook spend under an act requiring the tech giants to compensate media for news articles.

Federal officials estimate Google would need to offer $172 million and Facebook $62 million in compensation to satisfy criteria they’re proposing for exemptions under the Online News Act.

Draft regulations released by the government Friday outlined for the first time how it proposes to level the playing field between Big Tech and Canada’s journalism sector.

“The goal of it is to make sure that those that benefit the most from the Canadian market fall under the bill,” Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge told The Canadian Press following the proposal’s release.

A woman in a white suit stands at a microphone.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge speaks to reporters during the Liberal Cabinet retreat in Charlottetown, Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The government said companies will fall under the act if they have a total global revenue of $1 billion or more in a calendar year, “operate in a search engine or social media market distributing and providing access to news content in Canada,” and have 20 million or more Canadian average monthly unique visitors or average monthly active users.

For now, Google and Meta’s Facebook are the only companies that meet the criteria, though officials say Microsoft’s Bing search engine is the next closest to falling under the act.

“We know how technology evolves or how the market changes sometimes at a rapid pace and we want to make sure that this bill is relevant in five and 10 years,” St-Onge said.

Companies meeting the criteria can receive an exemption from the act if they already contribute to Canadian journalism an amount laid out by a government formula.

The formula is based on a tech

Google and Meta block news in Canada

The Canadian government’s latest attempt to help out failing news outlets is having the opposite effect. Rather than comply with new regulations, Google, Facebook, and other major tech companies are cutting off Canadians’ access to locally produced online news.

“We’ve already seen Facebook and Instagram limit our posts, and Facebook was a pretty serious driver of traffic to us,” said Ezra Levant, the founder of Rebel News in Toronto. The independent conservative media company posts its video content on online platforms.

The crackdown on digital news follows the passage of the Online News Act in June by Canada’s governing Liberal Party. The law requires tech companies such as Google and Meta to pay certain Canadian news businesses for content that circulates on their platforms.

“It levels the playing field by putting the power of big tech in check and ensuring that even our smallest news business can benefit through this regime and receive fair compensation for their work,” Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said in a statement.

Over the next year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will outline the specifics of how the law will roll out.

Shortly after the Online News Act passed, Big Tech companies retaliated. Meta and Google announced not only would they not comply but they would also block Canadian news from their platforms.

Google said it would remove news links exclusively for Canadian publishers and readers from their search engines, Google News, and Google Discover. On Aug. 1, Meta announced that over the next few weeks it would remove Canadian news from Facebook and Instagram. Canadians will no longer have the ability to share or access news articles and various content posted by publishers and broadcasters, including those from international sources. As private entities, Meta and Google have no constitutional obligation to provide

Google, Meta fight with Canada over law forcing them to pay for news

TORONTO — When Google opened a new office in Kitchener, Ontario, in 2016, it welcomed a special guest.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who months earlier swept to power in a campaign that leveraged digital tools, praised the tech giant for “always” working “very, very hard not just to be a good corporate citizen, but to be a strong and active player in Canada.”

But now, Trudeau appears to have a dimmer view of the company. His government is in a high-stakes showdown with Google and Meta, accusing them of unfairly profiting at the expense of Canadian news outlets and of using “bullying tactics” to intimidate officials.

Canada’s fight echoes frustrations in places around the world, from Indonesia to California, about power imbalances resulting from the tech giants’ dominance. And so how the dispute plays out here — who, if anyone, blinks first — is being closely watched.

Meta says it will block news from Facebook, Instagram in Canada

At issue is Bill C-18, passed last month as Canada’s Online News Act, which aims to shore up a struggling media industry by requiring tech firms to compensate domestic news publishers for the content shared on their platforms.

The tech companies have responded with threats and retaliatory moves. Meta reiterated a commitment to block news on Facebook and Instagram for users in Canada before the law goes into effect, and the company canceled a $4-million fellowship program for emerging journalists.

“The Online News Act is fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work, the preferences of the people who use them, and the value we provide news publishers,” Meta said in a statement. “As the Minister of Canadian Heritage has said, how we choose to comply with the legislation is a business decision

In Canada, Meta Begins Blocking News on Facebook and Instagram

Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, has started blocking news articles on its social networking services in Canada.

The change, in response to a new law in Canada that requires tech companies to pay news outlets for using their content, will roll out “over the course of the next few weeks,” Meta said in a blog post on Tuesday. Content posted on Facebook and Instagram by both local Canadian news outlets and international outlets will not be visible to Canadians using the platforms.

Canada passed the Online News Act in June, joining a push by numerous governments to force big social media companies to compensate news organizations. The Canadian bill requires the platforms and search engines to negotiate with news publishers to license their content.

Meta had previously signaled that it would block news access in response to the Canadian law. In a blog post, the company said the Online News Act “misrepresents the value news outlets receive when choosing to use our platforms.”

“The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true,” the blog post said, arguing that news outlets “voluntarily” share content to expand their audiences. Meta said it had generated traffic for publishers in a 12-month period to April 2022 that it valued at more than 230 million Canadian dollars.

Pascale St-Onge, the country’s minister for Canadian heritage, described Meta’s actions as “irresponsible.”

“They would rather block their users from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair share to news organizations,” Ms. St-Onge said in a statement on Twitter.

Ms. St-Onge said the Canadian government would stand its ground with the new legislation.

“Facebook is trying to send a message, not only to Canada, but to other

Google, Meta Take on Trudeau in Proxy Fight Over Digital News Content

A law that props up the news industry has turned Canada into the latest battleground for global tech giants that are pushing back against governments trying to curb their dominance.

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(Bloomberg) — A law that props up the news industry has turned Canada into the latest battleground for global tech giants that are pushing back against governments trying to curb their dominance.

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Google and Meta pulling news will ‘devastate’ the industry, says Canadian publisher

If Google and Meta pull content from Canadian news outlets it would “devastate” the industry, says Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie.

Village Media runs 25 community news websites, including six in northern Ontario – Sudbury.com, Soo Today, Bay Today, Elliot Lake Today, Timmins Today and Northern Ontario Business.

Elgie told CBC News he has been against Bill C-18, otherwise known as the Online News Act, from the start.

The law, which received royal assent last month, requires tech giants like Google and Meta to pay media outlets for news content they share or otherwise repurpose on their platforms.

In response, both Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and Google have said they will pull Canadian news content from their platforms when the law comes into effect later this year.

A smiling man wearing glasses.
Jeff Elgie is the CEO of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. based Village Media, which operates 25 local news websites, including six in northern Ontario. (Village Media)

Elgie said about 50 per cent of the traffic to his company’s websites comes from Facebook and Google.

“The whole approach with this bill in our opinion has been flawed from the get go,” Elgie said.

“[It’s] based on the notion that Google and Facebook steal content from publishers, which of course is not at all true. We, since the beginning, have always happily put our content on Google and Facebook because of the tremendous amount of traffic and audience that we get back from that.”

Elgie said losing access to those platforms will make it especially difficult for small publishers like Village Media to expand into new communities.

The company started in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Elgie said they already have a strong foothold in that community. 

“There’s this behaviour where if anything happens in the city that’s significant, the first thing

Canada’s Online News Act may let Meta and Google decide the winners and losers in the media industry

The Online News Act, Bill C-18, was barely a few hours old when Meta announced it will soon start blocking Canadians from accessing and sharing news on Facebook, Instagram and all of its platforms.

The act is meant to change the way journalism in Canada is funded by requiring tech giants like Meta and Google to bargain with Canadian media businesses for using news content on their platforms. The Parliamentary Budget Office has estimated news organizations could share a total compensation of $329 million annually.

But Meta explained its decision to block news by saying journalism content contributes a pittance to the company’s annual earnings — and so it would be easier to pull news altogether than comply with the legislation.

The Online News act was modeled on Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC), legislation that was the first to compel Meta and Google to pay for third-party news content on their sites.

Since the NMBC was passed in 2021, other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United StatesSouth Africa, and Brazil, have considered imposing similar laws.

But it looks as though Canada will be the first to succeed in implementing legislation that Ottawa says will “improve” on the Australian code.

Meta’s predictable response

For Australians watching the legislation proceed through the Canadian Parliament, Meta’s actions seem to signal a case of history repeating.

Meta acted in much the same way while the NMBC was being debated, blocking Australians from accessing or posting news content. The ban included links to both Australian and international news publications — and even charities, emergency services, and Australian government Facebook pages, such as the Bureau of Meteorology.

The move was a highly public attempt to force changes to the Australian legislation to avoid being “designated” in the

Online News Act: Google withholds AI chatbot as Meta runs ads opposing new law

OTTAWA – Tech companies are continuing to push back on the Liberal government over its Online News Act, with Google withholding its new artificial-intelligence chatbot from Canada and Meta running ads opposing the law.

A Google spokesman said the company is working through regulatory uncertainty in Canada related to Bard, an AI-driven online conversational tool seen as a competitor to the popular ChatGPT from OpenAI.

Bard currently links to news, which will be subject to regulations in Canada now that the Online News Act, formerly known as Bill C-18, has become law.

In order to comply with the law, both Google and Meta have stated they would remove news links in Canada before the law comes into effect by the end of the year.

The law will force global tech players to enter into agreements with Canadian news outlets to compensate them for content shared or otherwise repurposed on their platforms.

Last week Google expanded Bard to the European Union after resolving regulatory concerns there.

The chatbot is available in more than 200 countries, but Canada is excluded alongside countries such as Russia, North Korea, China, Belarus, Afghanistan and Syria.

“As we continue to build Bard responsibly, we’re expanding access to more countries and regions in multiple languages,” said Google Canada spokesperson Shay Purdy in a statement.

“We’re committed to being good partners as we work through regulatory uncertainty in Canada, and we’re enthusiastic about bringing Bard’s generative AI potential to Canadians soon.”

Meanwhile, Meta has begun an ad campaign on its Facebook and Instagram platforms, criticizing the law and explaining its decision to remove news links.

Meta said it launched the campaign on Friday to keep Canadians informed about changes to its services.

The ads will also run on radio and digital, in both English and French, over the

Interest rates and Meta breaking records: Take The Globe’s business and investing news quiz

1 On Wednesday the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate to 5 per cent. How many years has it been since rates were this high? (Hint: The top single at the time in Canada was U2′s Walk On.)

a. 16 years

b. 18 years

c. 22 years

d. 24 years

2 Within the first five days after Meta launched its new social media app Threads, how many people signed up? (Not necessarily using it, mind you – just signed up.)

a. 50 million

b. 75 million

c. 100 million

d. 125 million

c. 100 million Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Facebook and Instagram, signed up 100 million users for Threads in its bid to provide an alternative to Twitter.

3 Three Canadian crypto trading companies are merging in a deal that closes on Monday. What are their names?

a. WonderCoin, Coinify and Coinsmart

b. Wonderfi, Coinsmart and Coinsquare

c. Binance, Coinsmart and WonderCoin

d. Coin.ly, Wonderfi and Coinsquare

b. Wonderfi, Coinsmart and Coinsquare The company first announced its merger with CoinSmart Financial Inc. and Coinsquare Ltd. in April and WonderFi is set to ring the TSX opening bell on Monday to mark the deal’s completion.

4 Laurentian Bank of Canada put itself on the auction block this week. As Canada’s 8th largest bank, roughly how many branches does it have?

a. 40

b. 60

c. 130

d. 300

b. 60 Laurentian has 57 branches. The next smallest bank is National Bank of Canada, with roughly 380 branches.

5 Beyoncé kicked off the North American leg of her latest tour in Toronto last weekend to a sold-out Rogers Centre crowd, a reminder that high inflation and interest rates aren’t stopping concert goers. How much has household spending on recreation and culture grown compared with before the pandemic?

a. 5

Google joins Meta in telling Canada it will not pay for news

Once the Online News Act comes into force, Google said it will remove links to news organisations in Canada from its Search, News and Discover products.

In a further blow to the Canadian government’s hopes to make Big Tech pay news organisations for their content, Google has joined Meta in deciding to halt news websites in the country.

In an update yesterday (29 June), Google president of global affairs Kent Walker said that the Online News Act passed by the Canadian parliament last week “remains unworkable” and exposes the search giant to “uncapped financial liability”.

Walker argued that the Canadian government has not given Google reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to resolve “structural issues” with the legislation that requires companies to pay for “simply showing links to news, something that everyone else does for free”.

As a response, Walker said Google has informed the Canadian government that it will remove links to Canadian news from its Search, News and Discover products in Canada once the law comes into effect. It will also stop offering its Google News Showcase product in the country.

“We’re disappointed it has come to this,” Walker added. “We don’t take this decision or its impacts lightly and believe it’s important to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as early as possible.”

Canada’s Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, received royal assent on 22 June and is now expected to take six months to come into force.

What is the Online News Act?

According to the Canadian government, Bill C-18 will require the largest digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to “bargain fairly with Canadian news businesses for the use of their news content on their services”.

“This enactment regulates digital news intermediaries to enhance fairness in