Rumbling in the ‘Metaverse’

News Media Canada, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and CBC/Radio Canada have applied to Canada’s Competition Bureau to investigate Meta’s [Facebook and Instagram] abuse of its dominant position, as evidenced by its decision to block news content from its digital platforms in Canada.

Meta’s decision is in response to the passage of the Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, on June 22, 2023. Bill C-18 now requires Meta and other web giants to negotiate compensation agreements with Canadian news organizations for the reproduction of news content on the operators’ digital platforms. Instead of working with the Canadian government and news organizations to further the objectives of Bill C-18, Meta has chosen to [not play nice] inflict harm to news organizations, threating the viability and sustainability of the industry in Canada.

The applicants ask the Competition Bureau to use its investigative and prosecutorial tools to protect competition and prohibit Meta from continuing to block Canadians’ access to news content. The applicants also request that Meta refrain from discriminating, by algorithm or by any other means, against con-tent from Canadian news organizations on its digital platforms accessible in Canada.

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