Lawmakers gunning for Big Tech are lending an ear
to news publishers, whose ad revenue has collapsed
while Silicon Valley amassed riches.
One approach under consideration is an antitrust
exemption that would let publishers band together to
negotiate payments from tech companies that use
their news stories. The news industry’s lobbying
group, the News Media Alliance, is leading the fight
for the legislation.
Tech companies function as gatekeepers for news,
the place where people often find stories online.
Publishers benefit when they get additional traffic, but
they are also left at the whims of these mighty
services. Business models take a hit, for example,
when Facebook changes which posts appear more
prominently on users’ feeds.
At the same time, Facebook and Google together
win the majority of money spent on online
advertising. That’s because they have a huge
audience and masses of data that advertisers want
for targeting ads. It’s hard for publishers, already
hard-hit by the meltdown in print advertising and
losses in circulation,