House Bill Would Help Small Publishers Negotiate With Platforms: Report

The House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel plans to introduce a series of bills in coming weeks, including one that would let small publishers get together to negotiate news content payments with the big tech platforms without being subject to antitrust regulation, reports Reuters.

Rep. Ken Buck, who this month became the ranking Republican on the antitrust subcommittee, said the bill will be a bipartisan effort.

The bill, which will apply only to small publishers, would be similar to one that was co-sponsored in 2019 by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who is the chairman of the panel, Buck told Reuters, which was unable to reach Cicilline, Google or Facebook for comment as of publication time.

The platforms negotiate individually with small publishers and force them to sign non-disclosure agreements so that publishers can’t compare their terms, according to David Chavern, president and CEO of News Media Alliance, which is supporting the bill.

Last October, after a year-long investigation, the antitrust subcommittee released a report detailing its recommendations.

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