CCIA Release White Paper on Canada’s Proposed Online News Act, Details Threats to U.S.-Canada Trade Relationship

BY Heather Greenfield
September 7, 2022

Washington — Canada is expected to soon renew legislative debate on Bill C-18, referred to as the “Online News Act.” The Online News Act would impose payment obligations to news publishers on one set of market participants in the country’s news industry, targeting U.S. Internet services. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has released a White Paper detailing how the Online News Act would conflict with Canada’s international trade commitments to the United States under the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), and how the imposition of such a regime would only lead to further concentration in the Canadian news industry. 

Digital services help drive traffic to news websites, increasing reader engagement across a variety of news services which boosts revenues for news publishers. CCIA has advocated against previous policies that mandate payments to news publishers for merely linking to other websites, or that depart from commercially-negotiated and voluntary arrangements among participants in the online news ecosystem. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President of Digital Trade Policy, Jonathan McHale: 

“It is discouraging that Canada continues to pursue digital measures that target U.S. internet companies, disregarding its commitments to the United States under USMCA. Forcing successful U.S. companies to negotiate payment to Canadian news publishers is little different than the recently-imposed Canadian digital services tax that targets these same companies for payment to the treasury. 

“CCIA supports the rights of publishers and content creators to be fairly compensated for their work consistent with current legal and technical norms. However, Canada’s proposal will fall short of goals to revitalize its news industry, and instead will likely lead to further market concentration among few dominant Canadian publishers.”

Related Articles

CCIA Recommendations on Canada’s Online News Act Ahead of Committee Hearing

Sep 23, 2022

Washington — The Heritage Committee in the House of Commons of Canada will meet at a  hearing on Friday afternoon to discuss Bill C-18, dubbed “the Online News Act.” The bill would require large “digital news intermediaries” including search engines and social media platforms to pay Canadian news companies to index their content or to…

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves JCPA

Sep 22, 2022

Washington – The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 673, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, after a new amendment was adopted during the markup Thursday. This follows partisan disagreement over the controversial legislation, which proposes to exempt some news media outlets from antitrust laws and encourages the formation of a news cartel. Unfortunately the…

CCIA Statement On Senate Bill That Would Change Antitrust Laws For News Organizations

Sep 7, 2022

Washington — Legislation to exempt some news media outlets from antitrust laws against collusion known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is scheduled to be marked up by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.  The Computer & Communications Industry Association has defended competition in the marketplace for 50 years and fought media consolidation and mergers…