Your Levelling the Digital Playing Field headlines for July 20, 2021

France fining Google 500 million euros a stark contrast to Canada’s complacent competition policy (The National Post)

In this op-ed, Vass Bednar describes the recent decision by France’s competition regulator to fine Google for failing to negotiate with publishers ‘in good faith’. She provides a comprehensive review of Canada’s current patchwork of proposed regimes vis-a-vis competition.

As she writes: “While Canada tends to enthusiastically import policy interventions from the U.S. and EU, this country’s competition regulators will not echo this penalty with a fine of their own as there is currently no requirement for the tech giant to pay publishers for distributing their news stories.”

Time for Canada to Level the Digital Playing Field (News Media Canada)

In this op-ed, Jaime Irving, NMC chair and Paul Deegan, NMC’s president and CEO make the case for curbing the power of Big Tech to prevent future market failures. They draw upon several international examples to urge the Canadian government to act. Examples include: the current antitrust hearings taking place against Big Tech in the United States; recent developments in Denmark where news publishers have joined forces to collectively negotiate with Big Tech firms; Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code; and France’s competition regulator fining Google for not negotiating with publishers in good faith.

Negotiating payment for use of news content on dominant internet platforms: What’s needed to reach a fair deal?

This blog post published by Hugh Stephens, the vice chair of the Canadian Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation, provides an in-depth examination about why platforms have taken to negotiate voluntarily side-deals with publishers rather than face government legislation that sets terms of any agreement.

This is “a direct response to mounting pressure on governments, and by governments, to deal with the issue of the market dominance of the platforms in online advertising, and the fact that part of their offering to attract viewers is use of content created and produced by news publishers,” he writes.

As the press weakens so does democracy (The New York Times)

New York Times columnist Charles Blow reflects on the changes that have taken place in the new industry since he began working as an intern nearly three decades ago.

On big tech and news publishers, Canada must follow Australia’s lead (The Logic/Nieman Lab)

In this column, David Skok, the publisher of The Logic emphasizes that Canada’s federal government should follow the Australian model of regulation that would force arbitration between platforms and publishers. He also argues that publishers should be given permission to bargain collectively with tech platforms, as is the case in Denmark.

Video: Federal government needs to pay more attention to Big Tech regulation: Bruce Coxon (BNN Bloomberg)

Bruce Croxon, co-founder of Round 13 Capital, joins BNN Bloomberg to weigh in on where things stand when it comes to Big Tech paying Canadian media outlets for content.

de Adder’s Take (The Hill Times)

Very clever, indeed.