New York Post


News-content deal

- By ARIEL ZILBER Additional reporting Thomas Barrabi

Google has agreed to pay about $74 million annually to Canadian publishers as part of a deal with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government that would avert a potential news blackout in the country, according to reports.

The tech behemoth reached agreement with officials in Ottawa on a framework deal whereby the company pledged to make regular payments to Canadian news outlets in exchange for making their content available on its search engine, the Canadian Broadcasti­ng Corp. reported Wednesday.

The deal ends months of negotiatio­ns that ramped up ahead of the Dec. 19 deadline to comply with the nation’s Online News Act, which demands compensati­on from digital platforms with 20 million unique monthly users and annual revenues of more than $1 billion.

Google and Facebook are the only two firms that meet the criteria.

Google had threatened to block Canadian news sites from its search results if the law came into effect.

Meta, whose Facebook controls a large chunk of the digital advertisin­g market alongside rival Google, has followed through on its threat to block news content in Canada after it balked at Ottawa’s demand.

As part of the agreement, Google will be allowed to negotiate with a consortium of news organizati­ons rather than with each of them individual­ly.

The company reportedly feared that separate talks would have forced it to pay more for content.

Ad chief out

The sum, which is equivalent to 100 million Canadian dollars, is reportedly less than the C$172 million the government was seeking from the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant.

Meanwhile, Google’s longtime advertisin­g chief, Jerry Dischler, will step down, weeks after he drew scrutiny over admissions about the company’s ad practices at the landmark antitrust trial targeting its search empire.

Dischler, who rose to the title of vice president of advertisin­g products at Google in 2020, will be replaced by Vidhya Srinivasan, an ad executive who joined the company in 2019.

Srinivasan previously held roles at Amazon and IBM.

Dischler raised eyebrows in September after admitting under questionin­g by Justice Department antitrust lawyers that Google had silently raised ad prices within its search results in order to hit revenue goals.

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