Platforms to pay news publishers for content: Canada legislation – The Indian Express

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

May 10, 2022 1:09:32 am

A Google sign on the is shown on the company campus in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2019. A former Google employee has sued the tech giant saying it engages in a “pattern and practice” of racial discrimination against its Black workers, steering them into lower-level and lower-paid jobs and subjecting them to a hostile work environment if they speak out. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Canada has issued a legislation to compel platforms such as Google and Facebook to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content. According to newspaper industry sources, the Canadian legislation is expected to strengthen the case filed against Google by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) with the Competition Commission of India.

In addition to Canada, several other jurisdictions including Australia and European countries like France and Spain have passed similar laws forcing news intermediaries like Google to come to the table with news publishers and negotiate commercial terms.

Canada’s Online News Act requires 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 Radio-television and Telecommunications


The law would work similarly to the one passed by the Australian government, which made it mandatory for Google and Facebook to pay media companies for content on their platforms in reforms that have been heralded as a model for others to copy.

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Top Indian newspapers and their digital editions, being represented by DNPA in India, have registered a complaint with the antitrust regulator, which has ordered a probe against Google for alleged abuse of dominant position in the digital advertising market. The DNPA’s members include Jagran New Media ( Dainik Jagaran Group), Amar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Times of India, Eenadu, Malayalam Manorama, ABP Network, Zee Media, Mathrabhumi, Hindu, NDTV, Lokmat, Express Network, etc.

The association believes that more than 50 per cent of the total traffic on the news websites is routed through Google, and being the dominant player in this field, Google, by way of its algorithms, determines which news website gets discovered via search.

It also asserted that the content produced by news media companies creates the context for the audience to interface with the advertiser. However, online search engines end up leveraging the revenue or returns much more than publishers, it said.