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Facebook and Instagram to Halt News Access in Canada: Meta Responds to 'Online News Act'

Meta Platforms, Inc. reacts to new Canadian legislation by ceasing all news services on Facebook and Instagram platforms in the region.

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New Legislation Sparks Meta’s Decision

On Thursday, Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ: META) announced that it would cease access to news on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada. This decision comes in response to the Canadian parliament's approval of legislation aimed at forcing tech giants to compensate news publishers for their content.

The 'Online News Act': A Game Changer

The legislation dubbed the "Online News Act," secured approval from the Senate upper chamber earlier on Thursday and is anticipated to be officially adopted soon. In response to the looming enactment of the law, Meta said, "Today, we are confirming that news availability will be ended on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada before the Online News Act taking effect."

What the Act Means for Tech Giants

The Act lays out guidelines to compel platforms like Facebook and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), owned by Alphabet, to negotiate commercial deals and reimburse news publishers for their content. This move mirrors the landmark law enacted in Australia back in 2021.

However, the proposal has been met with resistance from U.S. tech firms, which argue that such requirements are unsustainable for their business models.

Meta and Google vs. the Online News Act

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Meta and Google of resorting to "bullying tactics" in their opposition to the legislation.

Meanwhile, Google has stated that the law is more rigorous than those implemented in Australia and Europe. The company is proposing amendments "to align with international norms" as a way to address its concerns.