The News Industry Will Address Congress About Facebook-Google Duopoly
The news industry has never been more dependent on tech companies and the massive distribution platforms they operate on the internet, leading to a long-standing and ongoing existential crisis in journalism. This isn’t exactly a secret — nearly half of all American adults rely on Facebook as a primary news delivery mechanism, and both the social network and Google collectively control more than two-thirds of the entire online advertising market. But it’s something that has publishers so worried that they’re now deciding to band together to do something about it.
The group, which is being represented by newspaper industry trade group the News Media Alliance, is now planning on asking Congress for an antitrust exemption to let news organizations collectively bargain, like a union would, with Facebook and Google, according to a report yesterday from The New York Times. The goal is to give the journalism business some leverage against all-powerful web platform owners, and to help undermine the value and spread of fake news and viral hoaxes that are currently infecting Facebook’s News Feed and the top results of Google’s search engine.