US: Newspapers seek antitrust exemption

Representative David Cicilline (Democrat-Rhode Island) introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act on March 7, 2018, to exempt publishers from antitrust laws so they can negotiate collectively with tech platforms (Facebook, Google) over the terms regarding distribution of their content.

The Rhode Island Democrat said his bill would “ensure consumers have access to the best journalism possible.” He noted that Facebook and Google control about 75% of the US digital advertising market.

If passed into law, Cicilline said his bill would “address the imbalance in the marketplace brought on by the platforms’ dominance and help trusted news publishers protect themselves and their readers.” His bill would provide a 48-month window for newspaper companies to iron out terms for the flow of subscription and ad dollars back to publishers.

“We are grateful to Congressman Cicilline for his commitment to ensuring fair competition with the platforms and for his work to preserve quality journalism,” News Media Alliance president David Chavern said of the bill’s introduction. “Our industry depends on our ability to continue to invest in stories that report the truth and hold our public officials accountable.”

Full Content: Broadcasting Cable

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