US lawmakers unveil bill to help media negotiate with Google and Facebook

WASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Monday (August 22) released a revised version of a bill to make it easier for news organizations to collectively bargain with platforms such as Google and Facebook.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act “removes legal barriers to the ability of news organizations to bargain collectively and obtain fair terms from oversight platforms that routinely access news content without paying for its value “, according to a press release from lawmakers.

The group includes Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator John Kennedy, both members of the Judiciary Committee, and House Judiciary Committee members David Cicilline, a Democrat, and Ken Buck, a Republican.

A previous version of the bill, introduced in March 2021, went against two tech industry trade groups to which Meta Platforms’ Facebook and Alphabet’s Google belong – the Computer & Communications Industry Association and NetChoice.

The updated bill would cover news publishers with fewer than 1,500 full-time employees and off-network newscasters. This would allow them to work together to win better deals from Facebook, Google and other major platforms, according to the press release.

The 2021 legislation would have applied to any print, broadcast or digital news organization with a dedicated editorial team that published at least once a week.