The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would allow news organizations to jointly negotiate fair compensation for access to their content by Google, Facebook, and other dominant platforms
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, issued the statement below after the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act by a vote of 14-7. Klobuchar and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) lead this bipartisan legislation to address dominant online platforms’ power over news organizations.
“Right now, local news is facing an existential crisis. We’ve seen ad revenue plummet and newsrooms across the country close. And now there’s the threat of AI tools scooping up original news stories to generate copycat content. News organizations need to be able to negotiate on a level playing field with the online platforms that dominate news distribution and digital advertising,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation ensures that media outlets can band together and negotiate for fair compensation from the Big Tech companies that profit from their news content, supporting the local journalism that our communities rely on. I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it passed by the full Senate and signed into law.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
This legislation is supported by over 100 news outlets and organizations including the National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association, National Press Photographers Association, American Economic Liberties Project, News Media Alliance, and more.
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would:
- Empower eligible digital journalism providers—that is, news publishers with fewer than 1,500 exclusive full-time employees and news broadcasters that engage in standard newsgathering practices—to form joint negotiation entities to collectively negotiate with a covered platform over the pricing, terms, and conditions under which the covered platform’s access to digital news content.
- Require covered platforms—which are online platforms that have at least 50 million U.S.-based users or subscribers and are owned or controlled by a person that has either net annual sales or market capitalization greater than $550 billion or at least 1 billion worldwide monthly active users—to negotiate in good faith with the eligible news organizations.
- Enable non-broadcaster news publishers to demand final-offer arbitration if their joint negotiation with a covered platform fails to result in an agreement after six months.
- Create a limited safe harbor from federal and state antitrust laws for eligible digital journalism providers that allows them to participate in joint negotiations and arbitration and, as part of those negotiations, to jointly withhold their content from a covered platform.
- Prohibit discrimination by a joint negotiation entity or a covered platform against an eligible digital journalism provider based on its size or the views expressed in its content and provide a private right of action for violations of this prohibition.
- Prohibit retaliation by a covered platform against eligible digital journalism providers for participating in joint negotiations or arbitration and provide a private right of action for violations of this prohibition.