On May 7, 2020, the Canadian Government Standing Committee on Finance met to hear from stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included publishers of Canadian newspapers and media outlets, who have called for an urgent overhaul of the Broadcasting Act to have digital media platforms share their advertising revenues with Canadian media companies.
This push for regulatory change stems from an open letter signed by various Canadian newspapers and media outlets to the federal government, outlining the advantages that major tech giants have as digital media platforms. Specifically, the letter addresses the advertising revenue earned by dominant players like Google and Facebook, who are not required to pay Canadian news providers for their content. Through linking to journalism produced by traditional media outlets, Facebook and Google earn about three-quarters of the digital ad revenue in Canada.
Additionally, news outlets and impacted stakeholders argued that regulators should gain access to the algorithms used by these tech giants to help guard against anti-competitive behaviour. Canadian publishers have urged the federal government to follow the example of other countries, including France and Australia, to level the playing field. Australia is addressing the issue through assessing competition law options, while France is promoting a European tax on digital businesses.
Summary By: Alessia Monastero
Disclaimer: This Newsletter is intended to provide readers with general information on legal developments in the areas of e-commerce, information technology and intellectual property. It is not intended to be a complete statement of the law, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. No person should act or rely upon the information contained in this newsletter without seeking legal advice.
E-TIPS is a registered trade-mark of Deeth Williams Wall LLP.