Google Agrees to Pay Canadian Media $100 Million Annually in 'News Usage Fee'
Ahead of the Online News Act, a settlement is reached
- 미디어1 (email@example.com)
- Nov 30 2023 01:08 PM
Following Australia, Google concedes in the second news dispute A momentum for fair news remuneration spreads across the U.S. and other countries
Google has raised the white flag in its 'news usage fee dispute' with the Canadian Parliament and Government. Initially threatening to halt its news service in opposition to the law requiring payment for news usage, Google has now retracted its threat and agreed with the Canadian Government to pay approximately 100 million Canadian dollars annually to media outlets.
According to the Associated Press (AP) on the 29th of last month, the Canadian Department of Canadian Heritage announced that Google agreed to pay about 100 million Canadian dollars annually to Canadian media companies. This sudden agreement between the Canadian Government and Google comes ahead of the so-called 'Online News Act' (Bill C-18), scheduled for enforcement on the 19th. The law, passed by the Canadian Parliament in June this year, essentially targets Meta, which operates Facebook and Instagram, and Google, the dominant player in the search engine market, stating that 'large online platforms must enter into a fee agreement with local media to post news content.'
The Canadian Parliament enacted this law because of the perceived unfairness in the current structure where 'media outlets do the work, but platforms earn the money.' Platform companies draw users and generate substantial advertising revenue using news, while news-producing media struggle to generate profits. Approximately 450 media outlets in Canada have closed between 2008 and 2021.
However, platform companies have opposed the fee, claiming it to be an unfair demand. Their argument is that they merely provide links to news pages, not confining news users within their platforms. Meta has already blocked news links on Facebook since August.
Nevertheless, with about three weeks left until the law's enforcement, the agreement between Google and the Canadian Government means that the feared 'news blackout' on Google search will not materialize. Once Google pays the fee to the government, it will be distributed to media companies based on factors such as the number of employees.
So far, Australia is the only country that has successfully obtained news usage fees from platforms. In 2021, Meta agreed to pay after halting news services for about five days following the Australian Government's world-first mandate for platform companies to pay for news usage. Google followed suit.
The trend may spread to other countries. Similar bills are being pushed in the U.S. Congress and the California State Assembly, as well as in New Zealand and Brazil, suggesting a strong likelihood of further discussions. In South Korea, a bill to mandate payment for news services by portals was proposed in 2021, but no follow-up actions have occurred in over two years.
Canadian citizens can now avoid the 'news blackout' on Google search, which was only about 20 days away. Moreover, this settlement is expected to set a significant precedent not only in neighboring USA but also in other countries, including South Korea.
Some interpret that the Canadian Government made concessions to some extent. The Canadian media industry had estimated the news usage fees payable by Google to be at least 126 million dollars annually, a much higher figure than the agreed amount. This is seen as the government choosing a middle ground to prevent the worst-case scenario of a 'news service shutdown.'
Nevertheless, this is considered a significant victory against global giant platforms.
By Seohee Lee, Reporter