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REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Canada averts a Google news block, US bills in the works

Last week, the Trudeau government reached a deal with Google that will see the web giant pay roughly CA$100 million a year to support media outlets in Canada. The agreement is part of the Online News Act, a law that requires big tech outlets to compensate the journalism industry. It’s also an important moment in the ongoing, cross-border battle to regulate these companies.
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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

REUTERS/Blair Gable

Google throws Trudeau a lifeline

Canada’s Online News Act, introduced last summer to force revenue-sharing on tech giants, backfired badly when Meta decided to block Canadian news outlets from their platforms rather than pay up.

Bill C-18 and the tech giants’ response to it spelled trouble for a media industry already in crisis – traffic and revenue plummeted. It was bad news for PM Justin Trudeau, whose revenue-sharing law was intended to improve things for media outlets, not make things worse, and it opened him to criticism that he was incompetently wrecking an industry he was trying to help.

But this week brought a turn in fortune. Canada reached a deal with Google that will see the tech giant compensate Canadian news outlets for linking to their stories. The deal, which requires Alphabet to pay between $100 million and $172 million a year, is a huge relief to Trudeau after months of withering criticism.

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