A US Senate panel has approved legislation habilitating newspapers to negotiate with Facebook and Google for money

A US Senate panel has approved legislation habilitating newspapers to negotiate with Facebook and Go ...

The US Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that aims to allow news organizations to band together to negotiate with Google and Meta''s Facebook and increase revenue.

According to a congressional aide, the measure passed the committee by a vote of 15 to 7. It must now go to the Senate for their approval. A similar measure is currently being debated by the US House of Representatives.

Following years of criticism that large tech businesses utilize their content to attract traffic and advertising revenue without fair compensation, the bill has aimed at giving news and broadcast organizations greater clout.

The bill, led by Democrat Amy Klobuchar, received some Republican support, with Senators John Kennedy and Lindsey Graham supporting it. Other Democrats, like Senator Alex Padilla, expressed their concern about it.

Later this month, Senator Ted Cruz won support for a proposal to include provisions to address what he considers the platform being stifling conservative voices.

On Thursday, Klobuchar received support for an amendment that prevoyant that content pricing was the issue.

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"The aim of the legislation is to allow local news organisations to get compensation when major corporations, like Facebook and Google, access their content," she said during a committee session to vote on the measure.

Some conservative groups opposed this measure, including Public Knowledge, because it favors big broadcasters like News Corp, Sinclair, and Comcast/NBCU, unlike other measures aimed at boosting big tech.

Facebook and Google are affiliated with the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CTO) and NetChoice, both opposing the legislation.

2022 Thomson Reuters