Big Tech Goes to War Against New Law

( – Big Tech has been fighting a proposal by the Australian government to make it pay news outlets for their content. The country passed the law in February, becoming a champion for journalism. Now that fight is crossing oceans.

On March 10, a bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. The law would provide publishers with a 48-month safe harbor from antitrust laws that would give them the ability to collectively negotiate deals with Big Tech. The new providers would only be able to negotiate together if it will benefit the entire industry and not hurt other publishers. Supporters of the bill say it will give them more leverage.

Big Tech’s lobbyists are now fighting the legislation. Google launched a website, claiming it supports journalism. Two tech trade groups of which Facebook and Google are members, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, are also opposing the bill.

Currently, Big Tech pays nothing for the content that oftentimes drives business to their platforms. Worse, they have the power to make or break news organizations based on algorithm changes. In recent years, independent media organizations on both sides of the aisle have complained about this problem. If passed, the law could take away some of the power social media platforms have right now.

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