A group of 30 newspaper publishers, including Seattle-based Robinson Newspapers, have sued Google and Facebook over the way the social and search giants profit from news content at the expense of the publications that produce it.
The lawsuits, outlined in a story by Axios, involve more than 200 individual publications and are based on a central antitrust premise: that the two tech companies are so pervasive in online advertising that they illegally siphon up revenue that would otherwise go to local news.
The litigation’s goal, according to the Axios report, is “to recover past damages to newspapers” caused by Big Tech companies, according to a lawyer representing the newspapers.
Filed in September, the Robinson lawsuit blames the two tech companies for a sharp decline in revenue. “Defendants’ anticompetitive and monopolistic practices have had a profound effect upon our country’s free and diverse press, particularly the newspaper industry,” the lawsuit states.
“Since 2006, newspaper advertising revenue, which is critical for funding high-quality journalism, fell by over 50%.”
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