Statement: Antitrust Bills Offer Long-Term Solution to Reining in Big Tech

Over the last year, multiple lawsuits, bills and investigations have been introduced to examine the anticompetitive behavior of Big Tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, and how their dominance of the online ecosystem harms news publishers and other creators.

In October, House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and the Democratic Majority of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law released a report on the anticompetitive behavior of the big tech platforms, which resulted in the antitrust bills (link to bills) that will be marked up in the House Judiciary Committee this week. The Report also referenced the News Media Alliance White Paper, “How Google Abuses Its Position as a Market Dominant Platform to Strong-Arm News Publishers and Hurt Journalism,” which outlines several of the ways in which Google uses news content to its advantage across its products and services.

The House Majority Report also recommends passing the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which will allow for the fair exchange of value for quality journalism that is extracted and monetized by the tech platforms.

Alliance President and CEO, David Chavern, stated, “The anticompetitive conduct of the dominant tech platforms can’t be ignored and is a testament to the critical need to correct the glaring imbalance in the marketplace. We applaud the House Judiciary Committee’s attention to these very important issues that cause consumer harm across our country.”

In March, Chairman Cicilline, Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO), Senate Antitrust Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Senator John N. Kennedy (R-LA), reintroduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which would grant news publishers the ability to collectively negotiate with the dominant tech platforms for fair compensation for use of their content. The News Media Alliance is strongly advocating for the JCPA.

Chavern continued, “Both short- and long-term solutions are needed, and we applaud Chairman Cicilline, Chairwoman Klobuchar, the Department of Justice, state Attorneys General, and other supporters who are continuing to push for a fair and competitive digital landscape that rewards the producers of original content, both now and in the future.

“Local news is more important than ever, but without a fair deal from the tech platforms, we can’t continue to invest in providing the public with high-quality journalism critical to our democracy.”

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