Online Platforms And The Commoditization Of News Content

By Jonathan Kanter & Brandon Kressin – 

As news content moves online, consumers are beginning to view articles as fungible commodities rather than unique offerings from differentiated publishers. Dominant online platforms have an incentive to encourage this “commoditization” of news, because it makes both consumers and publishers more reliant on the platforms. At the same time, however, news commoditization also allows for the spread of low-quality, duplicative content and Fake News by making it easier for less scrupulous actors to masquerade as legitimate publishers. At the end of the day, this is an antitrust issue — the deterioration of news quality is a consumer harm that results directly from dominant online platforms’ exercise of market power.

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