“Through our bipartisan legislation, we are opening the door for newspapers to more fairly negotiate in an increasingly anti-competitive space. This will help protect journalism, promote competition and allow communities to stay informed.”

WASHINGTON – Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary, and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act today. The legislation will allow local news outlets to negotiate with large online platforms regarding how their content is used on these platforms.

“Community journalism holds a critical place in our democracy because it helps the American people understand and engage in civil society,” said Collins. “Through our bipartisan legislation, we are opening the door for community newspapers to more fairly negotiate with large tech platforms that are operating in an increasingly anti-competitive space. This will help protect journalism, promote competition and allow communities to stay informed.”

“The free press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Journalists keep the public informed, root out corruption and hold the powerful accountable,” said Cicilline. “This bill will provide a much-needed lifeline to local publishers who have been crushed by Google and Facebook. It’s about time we take a stand on this issue.”

Because the online marketplace for news is dominated by a few companies, small publications are struggling to negotiate with the platforms effectively. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act helps level the playing field for community newspaper publications to operate in a freer market. The bill does this by creating a four-year safe harbor, which allows publications to negotiate without risking a fine for violating antitrust laws. During this period, newspapers can negotiate arrangements that give them more control over the content they produce and the revenue it delivers.