Ding, dong the efficiencies defence is dead
Just like a quick-thinking Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, a desperate Justin Trudeau threw cold water on the Competition Act’s controversial “efficiencies” defence last week in an attempt to help bring down the soaring cost of groceries. “I’m melting,” exclaimed a dissolving Section 96 as Munchkins across the land rejoiced that they would soon enjoy lower prices for cheese.
Twist in Online News Act regulations could see news media owe millions to Google, Facebook
Canadian news media could ironically owe millions to Google and Meta instead of the other way around under the Online News Act regulations proposed by Ottawa late last week. Tech news website The Logic cited an unnamed government official as confirming that the platforms could get credit for the traffic they send to news media websites in any deals made with them.
Postmedia uses junk science to make its case for digital millions
Non-scholars tend to be impressed by studies that are seemingly scientific but on closer inspection simply don’t hold water. They are often offered by our news media in pursuit of government largesse, and our politicians and bureaucrats usually fall for them. As Marc Edge writes, in policy debates, ‘junk science’ should be taken with not just a grain of salt, but several kilos of it.
Amazon donation to UofT follows ‘greenmail’ strategy of media companies
A covert level of influence peddling lurks just beneath the surface of public discourse in academia, which is subject to what have been called “greenmail” endowments designed to legitimize one side of a debate or the other. It has badly infected my field of study and my role in exposing it may help to explain why my teaching career has been spent mostly outside Canada.
Competition Bureau action against Meta would confirm that the fix is in
Meta is now dropping news here and Google is sure to follow pending one last Hail Mary by Canada’s news media organizations, which last week asked the Competition Bureau to commence an inquiry into Meta’s blocking of news content. Should the Competition Bureau accede to our news media’s ridiculous complaint, little doubt will remain that it lives nowhere other than in their pocket.
Canada’s newspaper chains badly overplayed their hand in attempted tech shakedown
In hooking themselves up to government subsidies and now government-ordered subsidies, the chains have apparently been willing to sell out press freedom in Canada to federal bureaucrats. But the chains overplayed their hand by failing to consider the possibility that Meta and Google might not sit still for such extortion and would simply walk away instead.
Canada’s old media cling to power, profits like Putin
The parallels between Putin clinging to power and Big Media in Canada continually prevailing upon Ottawa for ever greater favours are obvious and provide evidence that systemic corruption pervades the highest levels of government in both countries, to the detriment of their citizens. As Marc Edge writes, to those with control of the communication apparatus go the spoils.
Ottawa blinks on Bill C-18 as Postmedia-Nordstar merger talks mercifully break off
After all the bravado from Trudeau and Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, Ottawa folded like a cheap tent on a long weekend. The insignificance of the government’s retaliation, after all, amounted to nothing more a rounding error in Meta’s massive revenues, and its hypocrisy was confirmed when the Liberal Party admitted it had no plans to follow suit.
Ottawa, Meta escalate schoolyard spat over Bill C-18
The spat between Ottawa and Big Tech went to another level this week after Meta announced it would stop carrying links to Canadian news stories to comply with the Online News Act. With the effort to make Big Tech pay up collapsing, online media face the double whammy of not only losing vital traffic, but also their financial support from Google and Facebook.
Postmedia-NordStar merger may actually be an opportunity to help restore local news competition
Postmedia may be trying to pull another fast one in an attempt to stay afloat, but if Ottawa is smart it will put its foot down. The only problem is that our federal politicians have proved repeatedly that they are no match for the soulless US hedge funds and private equity players that now own most of Canada’s newspaper industry.
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