Statement by News Media Canada chair on Google’s efforts to recruit news publishers

The announcement of a deal between Google and a small number of Canadian media outlets underlines the need for the government to follow through urgently on the commitment it has made to curtail the predatory monopoly practices of both Facebook and Google, and level the playing field for Canadian media,” said Jamie Irving, chair of News Media Canada.

Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Heritage have committed to legislation to rein in the web giants, who abuse their monopoly power by diverting 80% of online advertising revenues in Canada, and distribute content generated by Canadian journalists without compensation.

Since October of last year, News Media Canada has called for Canada to adopt the approach enacted by the Australian Parliament, which requires the web giants to negotiate collectively with that country’s news media to provide fair compensation for content.

“Until news media in this country can negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook, the two multinationals will continue to divide and conquer, using their power and market dominance to drive terms that are in their favour,” said Irving.

“Far from contributing to the resolution of the problem, this approach only solidifies their stranglehold.”

“There is a broad consensus for action now. The government and opposition have all reaffirmed their support in recent weeks. We call on the government to keep its commitment to Canadians who rely on local news and to introduce legislation,” concluded Irving.