A bill that would permit newspapers to collectively negotiate with tech giants for better distribution deals received a significant boost when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signed on to be a co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, Axios reported on Monday.
This bill, called the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act, seeks to empower news companies to collectively demand that online giants such as Facebook and Google compensate them more adequately for their work and has been in the works for years due to pressure from the News Media Alliance, one of the biggest trade groups representing thousands of newspapers.
After McConnell expressed support for the legislation, News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern said that “Members of Congress are realizing the urgency and importance of this issue, especially for local news publishers.
One of the main problems facing news publishers is that media companies used to dominate the digital advertising economy in the U.S., but now Google and Facebook control up to 60% of it.
While few believe that the teeth of the bill will be strong enough to effect significant change, Axios said it does send a message to those companies that dominate the Internet that Congress is working on methods to equalize the playing field between major tech firms and news companies.
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