Fri, 01 Dec 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that will allow news organizations to jointly negotiate with Google and Facebook to gain more revenue from shared content.

The bill, which passed the committee by a vote of 15 to 7, will be sent to the Senate for further approval.

A similar bill is before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Many large tech companies have used their content to attract traffic and ad revenue without compensating publishers, many of whom struggle financially, so the bill aims to give print news and broadcast organizations more leverage.

Led by Democrat Amy Klobuchar, the bill has attracted some Republican support, including from senators John Kennedy and Lindsey Graham. Still, other Democrats, like Senator Alex Padilla, have expressed reservations.

Earlier this month, Senator Ted Cruz won support for a plan to help address what he considers the platforms stifling conservative views, which held back passage of the bill.

However, Klobuchar won support for an amendment specifying that the real issue was the prices paid for use of content.

During a committee session to vote on the bill, she said, "The goal of the bill is to allow local news organizations to get compensation when major titans, monopolies like Facebook and Google, access their content."

However, some progressive groups, including Public Knowledge, have opposed the measure on the grounds that it favors major broadcasters, such as News Corp, Sinclair and Comcast/NBCU.

Also opposing the bill are technology industry trade groups the Computer & Communications Industry Association and NetChoice, in which Facebook and Google are members.

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