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By William Turvill, PressGazette, Oct. 7,, 2022

 

Google and Facebook could be forced to pay out CA$329.2m a year to Canada’s news publishers after the country passes its Online News Act, according to a new government estimate.

The total would cover around 30% of publishers’ editorial costs, a report from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) said.

Canada looks set to become the second country after Australia to pass a law forcing certain digital platforms to negotiate cash-for-content deals with news publishers.

Estimates suggest that Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code has resulted in Google and Facebook paying out more than AU$200m (£115m) a year to publishers.

Canada’s legislation, Bill C-18, is currently making its way through Ottawa’s House of Commons. The news industry hopes it could pass into law this year, but it could be delayed until 2023.

The law would seek to force Google and Facebook, now known as Meta at a corporate level, to negotiate “fair commercial deals” with Canadian news companies. It would allow publishers to negotiate collectively, and threaten the technology giants with arbitration if deals are not struck.

The PBO published its costs estimate report on Thursday.

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