News Outlets Seek Unusual Power in Online Ad Negotiaions

Alliance wants antitrust exemption to negotiate with Facebook, Google
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2017 11:00 AM CDT
Newspaper front pages are displayed at the Newseum in Washington on Monday.   (Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – News outlets are seeking permission from Congress for the right to negotiate jointly with Google and Facebook, two companies that dominate online advertising and online news traffic. The News Media Alliance, which represents nearly 2,000 news organizations, said the two companies' dominance have forced news organizations to "play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized, and monetized," per the AP. "These rules have commoditized the news and given rise to fake news, which often cannot be differentiated from real news," the alliance said in a press release.

It won't be easy getting a congressional antitrust exemption to negotiate as a group. But the alliance's chief executive, David Chavern, said trying is better than doing nothing. The outlets want stronger protections for intellectual property, support for subscription models, and a bigger share of the online advertising market. Google and Facebook combined will account for 60% of the US digital advertising market this year, according to the research firm eMarketer. A Facebook exec said the company is "committed to helping quality journalism thrive on Facebook," while Google also said it wants to help news organizations "with both their challenges, and their opportunities." (Read more media stories.)

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