Google said on Thursday that it will delete any references to Canadian news from its platforms once new legislation requiring the tech titans to pay media organizations for information they distribute or otherwise reuse takes effect.
The tech giant said that it will delete Canadian news connections from Google Discover, a function on mobile phones that aids in content discovery, as well as from Google News, a tailored aggregator service available via web or app that spotlights local news.
Users in Canada will still be able to access information from news organizations like Fox News and the BBC since only Canadian news will be banned.
Google claimed to have notified the Liberal administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of its choice.
Although it does not specify a specific date, news would be removed prior to the law’s implementation.
By the end of the year, the law that was enacted only last week will go into force. Last week, Meta made a comparable declaration, stating that it will take news off of Facebook and Instagram before the law takes effect.
Additionally, it is terminating agreements with regional publishers. Up to 5% of Meta’s Canadian users are now participating in a test that blocks news. An earlier test by Google this year was comparable.
Although he is unhappy that it has come to this, Kent Walker, head of worldwide affairs for Google and its parent firm Alphabet, said the law is “unworkable.
Walker said in a blog post on Google’s website that the law imposes a cost on links and creates an unbounded financial obligation “simply for facilitating Canadians’ access to news from Canadian publishers.
We don’t take this decision or its implications lightly, Walker said, and we think it’s critical to be upfront with Canadian publishers and our users as soon as possible.
According to the Online News Act, both businesses must contract with news organizations to pay them for the news material that appears on their websites if it increases their revenue.
Google has been looking for guarantees about what that may cost them and how the negotiations will go.
These specifics will probably become apparent after the regulatory procedure for the law is finished.
The law, which aims to “enhance fairness” in the digital news industry and help earn more money for constricting newsrooms, has received plaudits from legacy media and broadcasters.
In the past, tech behemoths like Meta and Google have been accused of upending and monopolizing the advertising sector and crushing smaller, more established businesses.
Pablo Rodriguez, the minister of Canadian Heritage, has already expressed his optimism that the government will reach an amicable agreement with both firms to stop them from eliminating news.
If Google and Meta remove news from their platforms, Rodriguez said his government will still fund newsrooms, though he did not specify how.
According to Rodriguez, approximately 500 newsrooms have shut their doors nationwide since 2008.