Rule to ensure platforms like Facebook and Google pay news publishers fairly for their content

Rule to ensure platforms like Facebook and Google pay news publishers fairly for their content

A recent Canadian order on news intermediaries like Google has come as a big boost to Indian newspapers and their digital news editions in their fight against the alleged monopolist exploitation of their news content by Google. Prominent Indian newspapers and their digital editions have been making representations against the said abuse of monopoly and position by Google.

According to newspaper sources, Google earns a huge amount of advertisement revenues on the content generated by the digital editions of these newspapers. However, they allege that there is no fair payback or sharing of revenues by Google in this regard, causing huge financial losses to news publishers in India.

According to the Canadian order, an online news Act has been created to regulate digital news intermediaries with a view to enhancing fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace. The Act applies to digital news intermediaries like Google. The order envisages provisions of fair compensation to news businesses for the news that is made available by the intermediary.

The proposed rule would ensure that platforms like Facebook and Google negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers fairly for their content. In 2021, Australia had also passed a ground-breaking law making it mandatory for Google and Facebook to pay original news publishers for content on their platforms.

Top Indian newspapers and their digital editions are being represented by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) in a similar fight against Google for fair play in India. The order in Canada has come at a time when the CCI has issued notice to Google on the basis of a complaint registered by the DNPA at the CCI in this regard.

The CCI has recently ordered an inquiry against Google for its alleged abuse of dominant position in the digital advertising market on a complaint filed by the DNPA.

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