What you need to know
- A bill introduced in the U.S. aims to give newspapers more negotiating power with Big Tech.
- The lawsuit comes just after Google and Facebook strike deals with foreign media entities on appropriate financial support for news content.
- The legislation has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
The battle over fair compensation for content is not over for Google and Facebook. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar re-introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which aims to give news companies a fighting chance for negotiating appropriate compensation for content with tech giants like Google and Facebook.
This bipartisan legislation will improve the quality of reporting and ensure that journalists are able to continue their critical work. Our media outlets need a fighting chance when negotiating for fair treatment by the digital platforms where so many Americans consume their news.
Sen. John Kennedy introduced the bill alongside Klobuchar, calling out Google and Facebook for effectively " strangling their print news competitors." The companies are accused of holding a monopoly over news content, given their control over user data and digital ad revenue. News publishers find that they should be given a level playing field, particularly as it pertains to the content they provide to platforms like Google News.
The proposal comes not long after both tech giants concluded their own respective negotiations with foreign media, particularly in Australia, which introduced the News Media Bargaining Code. Google and Facebook both threatened to pull out of Australia over the move but eventually agreed, so it's unclear how things will play out in the United States.
Last month, Google introduced its News Showcase in Australia, which curates news content from local sources into one place that can be found on even the best cheap Android phones. The News Showcase will provide greater context to news stories with story panels and timelines linking to related stories. It's a program that has already kicked off in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the UK, although the U.S. doesn't seem to be involved in any shape or form.
This isn't the first time the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act has been proposed, but given the climate and recent events with foreign publishers, there's a strong likelihood that it will be passed. The House of Representatives will review the bill on Friday.