News/Media Alliance Calls on Justice Department, FTC, and with CNPA calls on California Attorney General, to Open Investigation into Google’s Blocking of News in California

Arlington, VA – Today the News/Media Alliance (the Alliance) sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission and, along with the California News Publishers Association (CNPA), to the California State Attorney General, requesting that they investigate Google’s unprecedented decision last week to block or impede the ability of some Californians to obtain access to California news websites in Google Search for possible violations of multiple laws.

On Friday, April 12, Google temporarily removed content by California-based news outlets from its Search platform for some state residents, retaliating against proposed legislation in the state – the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) – that would require Big Tech platforms, including Google and Meta, to pay news publishers for use of their content on its platforms.

In its letter to the DOJ and FTC, the Alliance points out several potential laws that Google could be in violation of as a result of its news blocking including the Lanham Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act and asks that the DOJ and FTC investigate whether the technology giant has violated these laws. In the letter to the California Attorney General, the Alliance and CNPA point out possible violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, prohibitions against false advertising and misrepresentation, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), and asks the CA Attorney General to investigate the possible violations.

The letter states in part, “Importantly, Google released no further details on how many Californians will be affected, how the Californians who will be denied news access were chosen, what publications will be affected, how long the compelled news blackouts will persist, and whether access will be blocked entirely or just to content Google particularly disfavors. Because of these unknowns, there are many ways Google’s unilateral decision to turn off access to news websites for Californians could violate [various] laws.”

News/Media Alliance President & CEO Danielle Coffey stated, “Google professes to provide unfettered access to the world’s information. With its recent removal of news in California, the dominant search platform has proven that it has too much power. No one company should be permitted to control information so singularly that it can make decisions to the detriment of society, as Google has done in California. We call on government agencies to take action to address the various ways this activity could violate existing antitrust and other relevant laws.”


The News/Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,200 news, magazine and digital media organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print and digital publishers of original journalism. Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., the association focuses on ensuring the future of journalism through communication, research, advocacy, and innovation. Information about the News/Media Alliance can be found at


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