Anja Karadeglija, National Post

Google and Facebook could foot the bill for 30 per cent of the cost of creating news in Canada under the Liberal government’s legislation, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said in a new report Thursday.

“We expect news businesses to receive from digital platforms a total compensation of $329.2 million per annum” under Bill C-18, the PBO estimated.

“We assume that the annual payments to the news businesses will represent 30 per cent of the cost of content creation.”

Bill C-18 would force Google and Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to make “fair commercial deals” with Canadian news publishers who would be able to negotiate collectively. If they don’t reach deals, or the CRTC determines the deals don’t meet criteria set by the government, the tech platforms will face mandatory bargaining and final-offer arbitration. The legislation is currently in its first reading in the House of Commons.

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