The future of “big tech” compensation, now that Google's $100 million deal with Canada is law


In late November, the entire news publishing industry was surprised to hear that Canada's government reached a deal with Google for the company to contribute $100 million Canadian annually to the country's news industry to comply with Canada’s Online News Act (Bill c-18), requiring tech companies to pay publishers for their content.

Actual verbiage on the government's website pages that describe the bill read, "News outlets play a vital role in maintaining a healthy democracy. News and journalism serve to inform communities, drive civic engagement, and counter the rise of disinformation. Our news industry fosters an informed citizenry by providing them with critical information that helps them fully benefit and participate in a democratic society. The Online News Act aims to ensure that dominant platforms compensate news businesses when their content is made available on their services.”

In March 2021, Australia became the first country to use competition law to push Google and then Facebook to pay for news. With Canada’s new law in place, other countries like Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and New Zealand are expected to "follow suit." And, of course, the U.S. Congress is currently considering passage of S.673, The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bill sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). In California, debates continue on AB-886, the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA). This bill would require big tech companies to pay publishers a "journalism usage fee" each time they use local news content and sell advertising alongside it. In turn, the bill requires news publishers to invest 70% of the profits from the usage fee in journalism jobs.

In this episode of “E&P Reports,” we chat with Paul Deegan, the president and CEO of News Media Canada, and Danielle Coffey, the president and CEO of the News/Media Alliance, about "big tech" compensation to North American news publishers, now that Canada's Online News Act goes into law, requiring Google to pay 100 million Canadian dollars a year to the Canadian news media industry, and the current complexity of two similar bills being considered by the California legislature and the U.S. Congress.



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