New Bill Could Enable A Big Tech, Big Media Cartel

( Some people are concerned about a Senate bill because it could make it possible for Big Tech and mainstream media to conspire against smaller, independent media.
The Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA), as it is known, would replace current antitrust regulations and permit media businesses to band together to bargain with Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

According to the JCPA, a news content creator may not be held liable under the antitrust laws for engaging in negotiations with any other news content creator during the four years beginning on the date of enactment of this Act to withhold content from jointly, or negotiate with, an online content distributor regarding the terms on which the online content distributor may distribute the news content of the news content creator.

For the coalition to continue allowing their material on the platform, online and print media outlets, including some of the biggest and most reputable brands in the industry, may unite in a media union and demand concessions from internet giants. Such cartels, a conspiracy of businesses in an industry banding together for a shared financial or industrial outcome, are categorically prohibited under current antitrust laws.

The JCPA has been promoted as a critical solution to the problem of the diminishing number of committed local media enterprises that, according to supporters, are frequently left behind under the wing of Big Tech algorithms and advertising capacity.

The News Media Alliance, one of the most vocal proponents of the law, outlined this position in a petition that has more than 23,000 signatures, portraying it as a harsh stance against the influence and power of Big Tech.

The petition states that numerous local newspapers are having trouble remaining in operation. Big Tech platforms, like Facebook and Google, govern how we obtain reliable news online and how content is presented, given priority, and profited from. Because of their extraordinary capacity for gathering consumer data, they end up with the great majority of all digital advertising budgets.

Critics worry that this might enable legacy media outlets to demand that smaller outlets publishing content on digital platforms be prohibited from spreading so-called fake news or misinformation.