US News Media Alliance Urges Regulation to Tackle Digital Duopoly

13 July 2017

The News Media Alliance (NMA), representing almost 2,000 American and Canadian publishers, has called for legislation to address the impact of the digital duopoly on news organizations.

The NMA called on the US Congress to allow news outlets to negotiate collectively with dominant distributors of online news content. The objective is to permit publishers to have concrete discussions with Google and Facebook on IP protection, advertisement and content sharing.

News organisations are currently limited by antitrust laws and are therefore disaggregated when negotiating against the powerful duopoly that dominate online news traffic and consume the bulk of digital ad revenue.

Legislation that enables news organizations to negotiate collectively will address pervasive problems that today are diminishing the overall health and quality of the news media industry,” said David Chavern, President & CEO of the News Media Alliance. “Quality journalism is critical to sustaining democracy and is central to civic society. To ensure that such journalism has a future, the news organizations that fund it must be able to collectively negotiate with the digital platforms that effectively control distribution and audience access in the digital age.”

The NMA argued that without a fairer redistribution of profits generated by users accessing news content through online platforms, the long-term availability of local journalism produced by America’s newsrooms can not be secured.

Currently, neither Google nor Facebook appeared to have released any official response.

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