Google won’t block news links in Canada after all

It seems Google won't block news links in Canada in response to new legislation after all. The company pledged earlier this year to pull links to Canadian news stories from Search, News and Discover when the country's Online News Act (Bill C-18) takes effect in December. However, according to the CBC, Google has reached a deal with the country's government that will see it continuing to serve users there with Canadian news.

Google is said to have agreed to pay news publishers in Canada around $100 million CAD per year. That's significantly less than the government's previous estimate that Google's annual payments should be around $172 million. The $100 million figure is in line with Google's own estimates of how much it should pay. 

The company will still need to sign an agreement with the media after negotiations. Google had demurred over a mandatory negotiation model that would have seen it hold talks with media organizations. Instead, the CBC reports that Google will only need to negotiate with a representative group, which is said to limit the company's risk of arbitration.

Google's arrangement with the government will be factored into the Bill C-18 legislative framework, which must be finalized by the middle of December. Engadget has asked Google for comment.

Although Google said in June that it would remove links to Canadian news stories from several of its key services, it hadn't followed through on that threat as yet. Meta, on the other hand, has blocked Canadian news links on Facebook and Instagram since June. According to the CBC, Meta has not returned to the negotiating table with the government. Google and Meta are the only companies that meet Bill C-18's legislative criteria.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

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