Google, a $1.97 trillion company, is protesting California’s plan to pay journalists

Search giant Google, which generated more than $73 billion in revenue last year, protests a California bill that would require it and other platforms to pay media outlets. The company announced that it has begun a “short-term trial” that will block links to local California news sources for a “small percentage” of users in the state.

The move is in response to the California Journalism Protection Act, a bill requiring Google, Meta and other platforms. to pay California publishing fees in exchange for links. According to Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s vice president of News Partnerships, the proposed law passed by the state Assembly last year constitutes a “connection tax.”

“If enacted, the CJPA could result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers,” Zaidi wrote. While the bill has yet to become law, Google is giving publishers and users in California a taste of what these changes might look like.

The company said it will temporarily test blocking links to California news sources that would be covered under the law to “measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.” Zaidi did not say how big the test would be or how long it would last. Google is also halting new spending on California newsrooms, including “new partnerships through Google News Showcase, our product and licensing program for news organizations, and the planned expansion of the Google News Initiative.”

Google isn’t the first company to use tough tactics in the face of new laws forcing tech companies to pay for journalism. Meta took the news from Facebook and Instagram Canada after the enactment of a similar law and have threatened Doing the same in California. (Meta cut deals to pay publishers in Australia after the 2021 law took effect, but said last month that it would end these partnerships.)

Google has had a mixed experience in this regard, pulling its News service out of Spain for seven years in defiance of local copyright laws that require licensing fees. But the company signed contracts At a cost of around $150 million to pay Australian publishers. He is at the end withdrew Threats to remove news from search results in Canada and exceeded approximately 74 million dollars. That may sound like a lot, but these amounts are still a fraction of $10-12 billion. researchers Guess Google has to pay publishers.

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