Canada's government said Wednesday it reached a deal with Google for the company to contribute $100 million Canadian dollars annually to the country's news industry to comply with a new Canadian law requiring tech companies to pay publishers for their content. The agreement removes a threat by Google to block the ability to search for Canadian news on Google in Canada. Meta, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been blocking Canadian news since earlier this year. "Google has agreed to properly support journalists, including local journalism," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "Unfortunately Meta continues to completely abdicate any responsibility towards democratic institutions."
Pascale St-Onge, the minister of Canadian heritage, said that Google will contribute $100 million Canadian ($74 million US)—indexed to inflation—in financial support annually for a wide range of news businesses across the country, the AP reports. "It's good for the news sector. If there is a better deal struck elsewhere in the world, Canada reserves the right to reopen the regulation," St-Onge said. "This shows that this legislation works. That it is equitable. And now it's on Facebook to explain why they are leaving their platform to disinformation and misinformation instead of sustaining our news system," she said.
Canada in late June passed the Online News Act to require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online. Meta responded to the law by blocking news content in Canada on its platforms. Google's owner Alphabet previously had said it planned to do the same when the law takes effect in December. Meta has said the Online News Act "is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true." Meta's change means that people in Canada are not able to view or share news on Facebook and Instagram. Earlier this year, Canada's government said it would stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram in response to Meta's stance. (More Canada stories.)