A new law that aims to force tech giants to pay Canadian media for news content has prompted Google to announce that it will restrict access to local Canadian news in the nation.
The Online News Act, which was approved by Canada's parliament last week, mandates that social media giants like Facebook and Google negotiate agreements with news organizations.
Following Meta's announcement that it would limit news content for its Canadian users, Google made its move.
Australia modified a similar law.
After Meta temporarily barred users in the nation from sharing or viewing news on its platforms, Australian lawmakers amended the law that was passed two years prior.
When the changes were implemented, the blackout was over, and since then, Meta has negotiated a number of agreements with Australian media companies.
In the past, Google had deemed the Canadian law's current form and suggested amendments "unworkable," and it will go into effect in about six months. The government and Google and Meta have discussed the legislation in meetings.
However, in response, the Canadian government asserted that the legislation is required "to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market" and that it will assist in giving struggling news organizations just compensation.
According to the independent budget watchdog of the Canadian parliament, news organizations could receive up to C$329 million ($248 million; £196 million) annually from digital platforms.
But since Google drives a sizable portion of web traffic to Canadian news outlets, many of the same media associations and outlets that supported the bill may now face a threat to their businesses.
Publisher Phillip Crawley recently testified before parliament that Google drives 30% of traffic to the Globe and Mail. Google accounts for 40% of traffic to Le Devoir, a well-known French-language publication, and social media accounts for nearly 30%.
Google did not specify how long its ban on local news links would last or whether users in Canada would still see links to articles about the nation published by companies outside of Canada.
Google stated in a blogpost that it had already informed the government that it would be forced to stop linking to Canadian news when the law went into effect.
It stated that "we don't take this decision or its implications lightly" and that "it's important to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as early as possible."