On Wednesday, the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google all testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee on Antitrust as part of the Subcommittee’s investigation into the anticompetitive practices of online platforms. The hearing was the sixth hearing in the bipartisan investigation, originally launched last year by the Chair of the Subcommittee David Cicilline (D-RI) and then-Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA). Our safe harbor bill, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, was the first focus of these series of hearings in which the News Media Alliance testified. During the hearing, several representatives questioned the CEOs on issues that the Alliance highlighted in our recent White Paper. Specifically, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) compared Google’s ad exchange to a stock market but with no regulation, allowing Google to abuse its market power at the expense of journalists. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was adamant that Google is “deeply committed to journalism” and that its business with news publishers remains a “low margin business for us,” but did not address the control over ads without accountability or the increasing ad revenue for Google-owned sites at the expense of websites not owned by Google. More highlights below in the video reel created by our comms team. The Alliance is following the investigations into the online platforms closely and will continue to advocate for the safe harbor as a critical solution to the problem caused by the platform’s anticompetitive conduct. You can watch highlights of the discussion of journalism during the hearing here. You can watch the full hearing here.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.