Microsoft and newspapers get together to fight Google

Each, Republican and Democrats support it

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Over the last decade, many newspapers have disappeared mostly thanks to huge Tech’s disruption of the ad market. Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on a lot of once it involves school reform, whether or not it’s content moderation or spinning off acquisitions, however, they are doing appear to agree that native journalism wants saving, said Theverge

On Friday, a House Judiciary Committee hearing targeted the approach Google and Facebook distribute news, and a brand new bill introduced earlier in the week has already found Republican support. It’s one in every of the largest legislative threats to school that’s commence of the years-long just debate, and fear of its political force comes from the precarious state of native journalism.

“The crisis in yank journalism has become a true crisis in our democracy and civic life,” Cicilline aforementioned in his gap remarks Friday.

Cicilline’s bill, the “Journalism Competition, and Preservation Act of 2021,” would permit news organizations to put together discussions with platforms like Facebook and Google on the terms within which their content is distributed online. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who leads the Senate’s antitrust panel, conjointly sponsored the legislation within the Senate, and Republicans, like Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), have already signed on in support of the bill as well.

“This bill may be a step within the right direction to dethroning those digital kings,” Buck aforementioned in his gap remarks Friday. “It isn’t a grant for outlets, however rather a leveling of the taking part in field in favor of democracy and free expression.”

But whereas there was growing two-party support for the life on the Hill Friday, the important drama happened on the far side of the dais.

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There’s a lot of pressure currently than ever for Congress to act. In January, Google vulnerable to get rid of its program from Australia, responding to a brand new law that {will} force the school large to pay news publishers for his or her content. That law was approved in February, and Google quickly backed off to chop a manage News Corp. and alternative publishers.

While this all was happening, Microsoft places out an announcement in support of Australia’s efforts to guard publishers. “One factor is clear: whereas other tech firms may generally threaten to go away Australia, Microsoft will ne’er create such a threat,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in the statement last month.

Smith was brought in as a witness for Friday’s hearing, saying his support for Cicilline’s media negotiation bill. Moments before the hearing was set to begin, Google places out its own vituperative statement against Microsoft, suggesting that the corporate was “making selfish claims” that would “break the approach the open internet works in an attempt to undercut a rival.”

Google has a smart reason to be scared of this bill, particularly in lightweight of its Australia bluff. The Cicilline bill has two-party support, and it’s solely the subcommittee’s 1st swing at huge school before they wrestle with a lot of sweeping reforms.

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Glenn Greenwald, former Intercept editor turned Substack story writer, conjointly testified at Friday’s hearing. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) targeted his line of questioning at Greenwald, asking if he feared a bill just like the one planned would only cement the facility of larger media companies whereas feat native journalism within the dust.

“The concern I actually have is that the discussion in the legislation appears grounded in a very premise that the sole or the first problem, to each local and national journalism, is that Google and Facebook are vacuuming up advertising revenue which you merely fix that problem the matter of media failure are going to be corrected as well,” Greenwald said. “I suppose that till the problem that this commission known in its report is addressed head-on, that is ending the monopoly powers of this industry, none of those issues can very be fixed.”

Cicilline went back at Greenwald, speech that his bill is simply a primary step. “The bill that, a minimum of Mr. Buck and that I have place forth… provides a short-lived fix for a 48-month period. And in fact, something these larger media firms would discuss would be out there to the littlest role newspaper in any town in the city in America.”

He continued, “We’re not progressing to do either or. We’re going to do both.”

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As Politico’s Cristiano capital of Peru noted on Twitter, the committee hardly asked any questions about Facebook! Facebook had its own beef with Australia last month, removing the flexibility for a few users and publishers to share news content within the country. In February, the Australian government in agreement to many changes that will permit users to still publish news, so a radical voice communication on those concessions and the way they may have an effect on yank users would are beneficial.


The House Judiciary Committee’s commission on just still has another hearing before it begins introducing legislation. Those bills are expected to land this spring. Klobuchar also told CNN this week that the Senate’s competition committee also will start holding its own hearings on tech’s dominance, trying into app store fees and news publishing. Those hearings have however to be scheduled.

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