Recently, Google’s parent company Alphabet started carrying out “tests” blocking news content for less than 4% of its users in Canada to better understand the implications of the liberal government’s Online News Act, with the test lasting for five weeks, according to media reports.
As a result, Canadian MPs are calling for Google’s top executives, including Sundar Pichai, to be summoned before a parliamentary committee to testify.
Previously on Friday, while speaking to reporters in Toronto, PM Trudeau started off by stating that something was “bothering” him.
“It really surprises me that Google has decided that they’d rather prevent Canadians from accessing news than actually paying journalists for the work they do…I think that’s a terrible mistake and I know Canadians expect journalists to be well paid for the work they do,” PM Trudeau stated about the bill.
The Internet News Act, or bill C-18, of the federal government would oblige Google and, Meta, Facebook’s parent firm to enter into agreements with a variety of Canadian news publishers to pay them for using their news content.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, as well as chief legal officer Kent Walker, vice president of news Richard Gingras, and Canada country manager Sabrina Geremia have now been called to testify before the heritage committee of the Canadian parliament on Monday in Ottawa, with Ottawa also ordering the firm to present relevant internal documents that may be pertinent to the search engine’s new strategy in response to the bill
However, It may be pertinent to note that the summons issued by parliament would only apply to Toronto-based Geremia because it is only enforceable to Canadian citizens.