Canada introduces legislation to compel Facebook, Google to pay for news
By Ismail Shakil
April 5 (Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday laid out details of a proposed legislation that would compel platforms like Facebook and Google to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content, in a move similar to Australia's ground-breaking law passed last year.
The news sector in Canada is in crisis, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said at a news conference, introducing the bill put forward by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.
The Online News Act, or House of Commons bill C-18, will require digital platforms that have a bargaining imbalance, measured by metrics like a firm's global revenue, with news businesses to make fair deals, that would then be assessed by a regulator.
If such deals do not meet a set of criteria detailed in the act, the platforms would have to go through mandatory bargaining and final offer arbitration processes overseen by the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications regulator.
The law would work similarly to the one in Australia, which made it mandatory for Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google and Meta Platforms-owned FB.O Facebook to pay media companies for content on their platforms in reforms that have been heralded as a model for others to copy.