Publishers have good reason to complain about Silicon Valley's control over the digital pipelines that affect what millions of people see online. But it's unclear whether their concerns will find a sympathetic ear in Washington.
More likely, publishers will have to continue to adapt their business models as other industries have done to changing consumer preferences.
Conversely, the European Union has been more aggressive about regulating the behavior of U.S. tech giants, an effort that now includes how Google works with publishers. The European Commission this month sent questionnaires to news publishers to understand how the search company tracks reader activity to personalize advertising, the Financial Timesreported.
The questions focus on how Google may be forcing publishers to share data, and whether the information is re-sold to third parties, giving advertisers the same information that publishers have about their readers, the newspaper reported. Respondents have a Jan. 15 deadline to answer the questionnaire.
The European Publishers’ Council has been vocal in its criticism of Google and Facebook, much like the News Media Alliance in the U.S., which is seeking an exemption to prohibitionsagainst collective bargaining.
The EPC claims Google's data about the digital ad market helped it wield too much control over the buying and selling of media.
Google declined to comment on the FTarticle about the questionnaire sent to publishers. But it has said publishers generated $14 billion worldwide using its ad software last year.