Canada vs big tech: who will blink first?

Should Google and Meta have to pay Canadian news websites?

03 August 2023

Alistair Fairweather

The Canadian government is currently playing an elaborate game of chicken with two of the world's biggest tech companies, Google and Meta. The vehicle for said game is the Online News Act, better known as Bill C-18, which officially became Canadian law on June 22.

The law will force Google and Meta to pay Canadian news organisations for the privilege of linking to their articles. Or, to be more accurate, it will force the tech giants to "negotiate" such fees with the news providers. Opponents have dubbed this a "link tax", while regulators huff and puff that it's all about "fairness".

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