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Google threatens to cut news after California offers to pay news organizations

Google threatens to cut news after California offers to pay news organizations


Google announced that it will begin removing links to California news websites in a short-term test with a small number of California users. The move is a response to the pending California Journalism Protection Act (CJPA), which requires Google to pay a fee when linking Californians to news stories.

The decision, if passed, could result in major changes to the services Californians can receive and the traffic they can provide to California publishers, said Jafar Zaidi, Google's vice president of global news partnerships. said in a blog post announcing it. The testing process includes removing links to California news websites that may be subject to CJPA to measure the law's impact on the product experience.

Zaidi added that Google will also pause further investments in California's news ecosystem, including initiatives such as Google News Showcase, news products and licensing programs, and the Google News Initiative.

The dispute centers on Google's influence on journalism. As it stands, Google (and Meta) receive a much larger share of online advertising than publishers. According to a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, half of ad spend is consumed by fees, and subscriptions are subject to app store taxes.

Supporters say California's bill would give publishers more leverage to make profit sharing more fair. Google already drives traffic to publishers and argues that this type of bill favors media conglomerates that risk further hollowing out local newspapers.

Complicating matters is that it's difficult to quantify how much money Google makes from news. Strictly speaking, the company doesn't run ads on his Google News, but the media company claims that links to news content bring broad benefits to the platform. A 2023 study estimated that Google would owe U.S. publishers about $10 billion to $12 billion a year if the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act went into effect.




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