The owner of Facebook Meta Platforms has threatened to completely remove news from its platform if the US Congress passes the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, arguing that broadcasters have benefited from publishing their content on their platform.
The law makes it easier for news organizations to collectively negotiate with internet giants like Meta and Google’s owner, Alphabet, over the terms under which their content can be published online.
Lawmakers are considering including competition and press law in the annual defense bill to help the ailing local news industry, sources familiar with the matter said.
Meta spokesman Andy Stone said in a tweet Monday that the company would have to consider removing the news if the law passes, “rather than bow to government-imposed negotiations that unfairly ignore any value we bring to news organizations through increased revenue.” and subscriptions,” according to Reuters.
He added that the law does not recognize that publishers and broadcasters publish content on the platform because it “benefits their bottom line, not the other way around.”
The News Media Alliance, a trade group representing newspaper publishers, called on Congress to add the bill to the defense bill, arguing that “local newspapers cannot afford to be exploited by big technology for a few more years, and time to take action is running out.” .”
“Unless Congress takes action soon, we risk allowing social media to become America’s de facto local newspaper,” the coalition said.
More than 20 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Computer and Telecommunications Industries Association, called on Congress not to pass the bill, saying it would “exempt publishers and broadcasters from antitrust laws and would not require them to pay journalists any money they make from negotiation or arbitration.” “.
A similar Australian law was largely successful after it went into effect in March 2021 after negotiations with big tech companies, according to a government report.
The law resulted in a brief halt to Facebook news broadcasts in Australia.
Since the law went into effect, many tech companies, including Meta and Alphabet, have signed more than 30 media agreements to compensate them for content monetization, the report said.