Last updated: June 27, 2023, 3:45 AM IST
United States of America (USA)
Meta Platforms plans to shut down access to news on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada once a new law comes into effect requiring internet giants to pay news publishers, arguing that news has no economic value to the company and that the users do not use the platform for news.
Canada drafted new rules after traditional media companies complained about Internet companies pushing news companies out of the online advertising market.
WHY ARE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AGAINST THE LAW?
Canada’s parliament passed “Bill C-18,” requiring internet giants to pay news publishers.
The Online News Act forces platforms like Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to make commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content.
Both Meta and Google had warned that they would withdraw access to news articles on their platforms in Canada if the legislation passes without amendment. Facebook says links to news articles make up less than 3% of its users’ feed content and that journalists benefit from posting their work on the social media platform.
Google has argued that Canadian law is broader than that in Australia and Europe, pricing links to news stories that appear in search results and may apply to non-news-producing outlets.
Google proposed revising the bill to make the display of news content, rather than links, the basis for payment and to specify that only companies that produce news and adhere to journalistic standards are eligible for payments.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN SIMILAR RULES WERE IMPLEMENTED IN AUSTRALIA?
Google and Facebook had also threatened to curtail their services after Australia became the first country to enact similar laws in 2021. In the end, both made deals with Australian media companies after legislation changed.
During the fight, Facebook blacked out Australian news pages and only reinstated them after the government made concessions.
But in the year since the law came into effect, Meta and Google have been paying some A$200 million ($134 million) annually to Australian news outlets, according to a report by the former head of Australia’s competition regulator.
WHAT CAN THE GLOBAL IMPACT BE?
Lawmakers are pushing for similar rules in Meta’s home state of California and in the US Congress. Meta says it gets 40% of its revenue, which reached $117 billion last year, in the US, citing Australia and Canada as one of its top markets. If Meta fails to secure waivers or change the rules in Canada, the tech giant in the United States could suffer a similar fate.
In 2022, US lawmakers released a revised version of a bill to make it easier for news organizations to bargain collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook.
The New Zealand government said it would introduce a law in 2022 requiring major online digital companies to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and was published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)