Canadian Lawmakers Step Up to Protect the News & Democracy from Big Tech

June 22, 2023 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement after Canadian lawmakers passed Bill C-18, known as the Online News Act. Like the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) now being considered by U.S. lawmakers, the Online News Act would empower journalism providers to negotiate fair compensation with Big Tech monopolies.

“Canadian lawmakers stepped up today to save news outlets that are being eaten alive by Big Tech’s business model of monetizing their content with no compensation,” said Erik Peinert, Research Manager and Editor at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Similar legislation has already restored Australia’s news landscape, injecting millions into the industry to support a new generation of journalists and strengthen democracy. American policymakers now considering the JCPA should follow Australia and Canada’s lead.”

Following Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, Canada’s Online News Act rebalances the unequal relationship between tech platforms and news organizations by creating a limited exemption from Canada’s competition laws, allowing smaller publishers and news organizations to bargain collectively with tech platforms without running afoul of the law. The Australian Code has already been a boon for Australian journalism, both large and small publishers, transferring an estimated 200 million AUD to the Australian journalism industry. In fact, some publishers have a hard time finding interns in Australia because aspiring journalists have been able to find full-time jobs so easily.

However, shortly after passage of Canada’s Online News Act today, Meta announced that it would be blocking access the all journalism through its platforms in Canada to protest the law. Meta already tried similar bullying tactics to try and stop the Australian News Media Bargaining Code, blocking access to all news in the country before caving a few days later.

As Canada moves to implement the law, as the United States debates the JCPA, and states such as California consider the similar California Journalism Preservation Act, governments should not cave to corporate threats.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.