Trudeau Asserts Facebook Must Pay for News in Canada and Comply

Canadian Government Pushes Facebook for Compliance on Online News Act
Photographer: Nick Otto/Bloomberg

Canadian Government Pushes Facebook for Compliance on Online News Act

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated on Friday that the Canadian government will keep pushing Meta, the parent company of Facebook, to follow a new law. This law requires big internet companies to pay Canadian news publishers for using their content. The final regulations for this law, known as the Online News Act, were published on Friday, and enforcement is set to start on December 19. According to the law, tech companies with over 20 million unique monthly users and annual revenues of at least C$1 billion ($748 million) must compensate Canadian news outlets when they share links to their pages.

In Canada, only Alphabet’s Google and Meta meet these criteria. Last month, Google agreed to pay C$100 million annually to news publishers in the country. However, Meta has chosen a different path by blocking news sharing on Facebook and Instagram in Canada to avoid making these payments.

Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Vancouver, emphasized the government’s commitment to pressuring Meta to comply with the law. He highlighted that Meta, despite making significant profits, is not investing in the stability and journalistic rigor of the media.

Meta’s Resistance and the Global Media Industry Landscape

Meta, on the other hand, remains firm in its decision. Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada, stated that news outlets choose to use Meta’s free services, and the release of final regulations does not change the company’s business decision. Meta argues that news holds no economic value for its businesses.

The Online News Act reflects a global trend aiming to address concerns in the Canadian media industry about declining revenue. Internet companies have been dominating the online advertising market, sidelining traditional news businesses.

The law has been designed to create a balanced and predictable framework for both news publishers and platforms. Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge mentioned that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would closely monitor Facebook and Meta during enforcement.

Paul Deegan, CEO of News Media Canada, an industry body, praised the government’s efforts in delivering a “durable, world-leading framework.” He called on Meta to follow Google’s example and comply with the regulations.

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Source(s): Hindustan Times

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