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Google reaches deal with Canada on online news, news reports say

The Google logo is shown at the Viva Tech fair on June 15 in Paris, France.  (Nathan Laine/Bloomberg)
By Randy Thanthong-Knight Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc.’s Google struck a deal with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government over the contentious law that would force it to pay for news, according to several media reports.

The deal – which came after months of negotiations and strong opposition from both Google and Meta Platforms Inc. – could avert the news block expected next month in Canada on the world’s most popular search engine.

Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge reached an agreement with Google about supporting the news industry, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday, citing two people it didn’t identify.

More details on the deal are expected later Wednesday, the Toronto Star said in its reporting.

Trudeau’s Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, is aimed at trying to force both Meta and Google to pay local publishers for featuring news content on their platforms, an attempt to boost an industry that has suffered from massive losses of advertising revenue.

But both big technology firms are pushing back hard.

Meta has already blocked all links to news content in Canada on Facebook and Instagram since August to avoid making payments.

Google threatened to remove news from search results before the law comes into effect on Dec. 19.

Spokespeople for both St-Onge and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.