Digital Equity
June 11, 2021 - House lawmakers on Friday introduced sweeping antitrust legislation aimed at restraining the power of Big Tech and staving off corporate consolidation across the economy, in what would be the most ambitious update to monopoly laws in decades.

The bills — five in total — take direct aim at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and their grip on online commerce, information and entertainment. The proposals would make it easier to break up businesses that use their dominance in one area to get a stronghold in another, would create new hurdles for acquisitions of nascent rivals, and would empower regulators with more funds to police companies.

Read more from The New York Times
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, yesterday came out strongly in favor of including local news as critical American infrastructure in need of support — highlighting the role of local broadcasters and newspapers as a trusted source of news and information during the pandemic.
It is very difficult for newspapers to compete against the vast data pool and resulting targeted advertising Facebook offers. Without some change in the model, I fear we will see further declines in the number of journalists and growing numbers of news deserts across the country.

Read this column by Alan Fisco, president of America's Newspapers

How is it that the creators of news, knowing full well they have legal copyright protection under the U.S. Copyright Act, have allowed the digital platforms to gain such power?
Congress is right to pursue stronger regulation of dominant tech platforms, The Seattle Times wrote in an editorial. Saying "Congress is doing a tremendous service by scrutinizing the excessive, harmful market power of online platforms such as Google and Facebook," the paper's editorial board called on Congress to restore fair competition, help sustain the free press and nurture a diversity of news sources for voters and communities across the nation.
Level the playing field
The News Media Alliance has released a White Paper, “How Google Abuses Its Position as a Market Dominant Platform to Strong-Arm News Publishers and Hurt Journalism.” The Alliance has submitted the White Paper to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as they proceed with an investigation of Google’s anticompetitive behavior.
Facebook and Google will be forced to share advertising revenue with Australian media companies after Australia's treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, instructed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to develop a mandatory code of conduct for the digital giants amid a steep decline in advertising brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Opinion

Make Facebook and Google pay for local news, just like you

It’s long past time for Google and Facebook to do what newspapers and their subscribers do: Pay for the local news that benefits them so richly.