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How we’re moving forward with the Canadian news ecosystem

Since the Government of Canada committed late last year to addressing our concerns with the Online News Act, we have been working through the exemption process prescribed by the implementing regulations.

Today, we’re announcing that we have reached an agreement with a collective that will be responsible for distributing our $100M CAD1 annual contribution to those news businesses identified through the open call we ran earlier in the year. We have provided the agreement to the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commision (CRTC) as the last step prior to the issuance of an exemption order and we look forward to confirmation of our exemption in the coming weeks. This will allow us to continue making news accessible to Canadians on our products and will unlock our contribution under this new model, which marks a significant evolution in how we support journalism and the news industry in Canada.

How we got here

The Online News Act, known as Bill C-18, was introduced in the Canadian Parliament in April 2022 and became law in June 2024. We were consistent throughout the process that establishing a “link tax” was the wrong approach to supporting journalism and would result in significant changes to the products that publishers benefit from and Canadians have come to know and love. We were also clear about our desire to work together with government and industry on the shared goal of strengthening the news ecosystem.

The Government of Canada acknowledged our concerns with the bill and, after engaging in a series of productive meetings, agreed to address these issues and create a viable path to an exemption at a clear and commercially acceptable commitment level.

Our agreement

The Online News Act’s final regulations required Google to run an open-call process in which news organizations self-identified as eligible to receive contributions. We started our open call for prospective eligible news businesses on February 28, 2024 and concluded it at midnight ET on April 30, 2024. The final list of news businesses that replied to the open call can be found here.

The regulations also identified that contributions could be made through a single agreement with a group or collective of news businesses and that the collective would be required to include all those who responded to the open call.

We invited any groups interested in serving as a single collective to submit detailed proposals on their approach. We thank everyone for their participation in this process.

As stated in the Online News Act Application and Exemption Regulations, “the intent of the Act is to ensure digital platforms contribute to the sustainability of the Canadian news marketplace, while upholding press independence and promoting diversity and innovation.” We also shared at the outset of this process that our selection of a single collective would be informed by principles aligned with that intent: diversity of representation, a robust governance structure, a high level of transparency, and assurance that as much funding as possible would go to news organizations.

After considering proposals and working through the details of an agreement, we are pleased to have signed an agreement with the Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ). We are confident that their approach is best aligned with these principles and will support the full diversity of the Canadian news ecosystem.

The Canadian Journalism Collective-Collectif Canadien de Journalisme (CJC-CCJ) will now assume the responsibility of ensuring that our contribution efficiently and equitably reaches all eligible news businesses in accordance with the regulations.

Our agreement stipulates that payment is contingent on Google formally receiving an exemption from the CRTC, which we expect to be made official following a required public consultation on our application.

We hope these next steps will be completed as quickly as possible, so Canadian publishers and journalists can soon begin to receive the proceeds of this new contribution model.

Changes to our existing programs

As we have noted in the past, moving to this new model will involve some changes to our existing products and programs.

As part of this transition, we have advised partners in our Google News Showcase program (our online news experience and licensing program for news organizations) will cease to operate in Canada later this year as we transition to this new contribution model.

We will be maintaining some Google News Initiative (GNI) programming in Canada. This includes a range of collaborative tools and resources that can support the advancement of quality journalism. However, with our monetary contribution in Canada now streamlined into the new single collective model, these investments will be non-monetary in nature.

Moving forward

Under this new model, we will continue sending valuable traffic to Canadian news publishers at no cost to them and providing them with opportunities to use Google tools and products that can help grow and engage their audiences, and drive revenue through advertising and subscriptions.

We’re pleased that this C-18 exemption agreement will enable us to continue connecting Canadians to the news they’re searching for.

More Information


$100M CAD, indexed to inflation