Why Google and Meta ‘owe’ news publishers

Our working paper found that the tech giants owe publishers billions of dollars. Here’s how we arrived at that conclusion and what it means.


In November, we published a working paper that estimates that Google and Meta owe U.S. publishers between $11.9 and $13.9 billion a year.

Since we launched that co-authored working paper, “Paying for News: What Google and Meta Owe US Publishers,” we’ve had lots of interest in our methodology, some questions and (unsurprisingly) some criticism.

With our co-authors, we found that Google and Meta are underpaying publishers for news, and that if the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act were passed in the U.S., Google and Meta would be pushed to make payments that are larger than they are paying now.

Separately, Schiffrin has joined others in drafting principles calling for platform remuneration that is transparent, requires money to be spent on news and includes smaller outlets as well as larger ones.

We’re getting requests nearly every day from people all over the world, so we drafted answers to some of the FAQ.

Read more from Poynter