Trudeau accuses Google and Meta of ‘bullying tactics’ against online news legislation

Trudeau criticised the prioritiwation of profits over Canadians’ access to local news while US tech companies argue that news has no economic value for their platforms.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Alphabet’s Google and Meta Platforms of employing ‘bullying tactics’ in their opposition to proposed legislation requiring them to negotiate commercial agreements and pay publishers for their content. The bill, known as the ‘Online News Act’, is similar to a law enacted in Australia in 2021. 

Google and Meta have conducted tests to limit access to news content in Canada if the bill becomes law in its current form. Trudeau criticised the internet giants for prioritising their profits over Canadians’ access to local news and stated that bullying tactics would not succeed. Google has proposed amendments to address its concerns and align with international norms. 

The bill has passed the House of Commons and is now in the upper chamber of parliament. The Canadian media industry seeks tighter regulation to prevent tech companies from dominating the online advertising market and undermining news businesses. Meta argues that news has no economic value for its platforms and considers the bill fundamentally flawed.