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Canada’s ‘Online News Act’ gives Indian newspapers and digital editions a big boost

A recent Canadian order on information intermediaries like Google has given Indian newspapers and its digital news publishers a big boost in their fight against Google’s monopolistic exploitation of news content. Prominent Indian newspapers and their digital editions have represented against said abuse of its monopoly and position by Google.

According to newspaper sources, Google earns a huge amount of advertising revenue from the content generated by the digital editions of these newspapers. However, there is no fair reimbursement or revenue sharing by Google in this regard, resulting in huge financial losses for news publishers in India.

The Canadian order indicates that an Online News Act was created to regulate digital news intermediaries to improve fairness in the Canadian digital news market. The law applies to digital information intermediaries like Google, which have a significant imbalance in bargaining power compared to information companies. The order includes provisions for fairly compensating news organizations for news made available through the intermediary.

The proposed rule will ensure that platforms such as Facebook and Google negotiate commercial agreements and compensate news publishers fairly for their content. Australia also passed groundbreaking legislation last year. The law will force Google and Facebook to pay original news publishers for content on their platforms.

India’s top newspapers and their digital editions are represented by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) in India in a similar fight against Google for fair play in India. The order in Canada came at a time when CCI issued a notice to Google based on a complaint filed by DNPA with CCI in this regard.

The DNPA has brought a complaint against Alphabet, Google, Google India Private Limited and Google Ireland Limited (Google/OPs) under section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act 2002, alleging breach of section 4 of the law.

The association estimates that more than 50% of total news website traffic is routed through Google. As the dominant player in this field, Google, through its algorithms, determines which news website is discovered through search.

The ICC ordered an investigation against Google for alleged abuse of a dominant position in the digital advertising market on a complaint filed by the DNPA. On January 7, the commission ordered the Director General (DG) to investigate the matter under the provisions of Section 26(1) of the Act.

Published on

May 09, 2022