Antitrust Safe Harbor bill to assist newspapers introduced in Congress

From the News Media Alliance

The “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” the antitrust safe harbor bill that will allow news publishers to collectively negotiate for better business arrangements with the tech platforms, has been introduced in the U.S. House. The News Media Alliance says it couldn’t ask for a better dream team to have introduced the bill – lead House Antitrust Chair David Cicilline, (D-RI) and lead Republican on Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) – and several Congress members have already said they will co-sponsor.  This is just the beginning, and ultimately a better deal for the ability to sustain quality journalism.

Here the list of organizations supporting the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act listed on this fact sheet: https://cicilline.house.gov/sites/cicilline.house.gov/files/documents/JournalismCompetitionPreservation_0.pdf

Though more news is being consumed than ever, news publishers are strained financially. We know that our ability to build a sustainable digital future for journalism will depend, in large part, on our ability to get a better deal from the big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google. The platforms not only control monetization of the digital news audience, but also actively and purposefully manage what kinds of news people are exposed to and when.

The best way to get a better deal is for industry to negotiate collectively with the tech platforms. Today, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.” The bill would allow news publishers to collectively negotiate for a better deal with the tech platforms.

One Thing You Can Do: Run an editorial supporting the legislation

Newspapers are encouraged to run an op-ed supporting a safe harbor for news publishers — click here to access a sample op-ed. The op-ed makes the argument that the safe harbor legislation is critical to securing long-term sustainable and independent high-quality journalism in the United States.

Why is an Antitrust Safe Harbor So Important for News Publishers?

The current laws prohibit news publishers from taking collective action by negotiating with the large online platforms to develop common rules of the game. In the absence of a safe harbor, these online giants will continue to entrench their dominant position in the online ad market and as de facto regulators of free speech on the internet. The JCPA would provide news publishers with a limited opportunity to negotiate together and to withhold content from the platforms during the negotiations, while presenting a sensible, market-based solution to a major threat to the future of high-quality journalism.

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