US: antitrust bill involves payments to media from social networks

The initiative, with a presentation date, today March XNUMX, is authored by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (Democrat) and the member of the Representatives, David Cicilline (Democrat). However, Republican Senator Jhon Kennedy and Republican Representative Ken Buck announced that they will also support this project, reported Reuters.

What is the OBJETIVE? Facilitate negotiation between the media and technology giants such as Facebook, Google, among others.

The antecedent? The Australian case. According to with the BBC Facebook had a notorious legal confrontation with Australia as a result of the lack of agreement on the level of profit that publishers should obtain with their pages on social networks. Apparently, the Australian parliament has passed a law that would force Facebook to pay news publishers for the content they publish. Clearly, this was not to Facebook's liking, which is why they decided to block news sites for Australian users.

Facebook argues that it does not make large profits from news content, however, this will not be a reason for such an Australian rule to be out of application (although apparently, with certain corrections). The truth is that things in this case have come to fruition, thus, in the words of the vice president of global news associations at Facebook, Campbell Brown, “Going forward, the government has stated that we will retain the ability to decide whether the news appears on Facebook so that we are not automatically subjected to forced negotiation"

Returning to the case in the United States, why have you seen the need for this project in this specific niche? The fact that Facebook and Google are practically the only relevant agents in their market means that those who have to "negotiate" with them are exposed to what it means to defend your position against someone who knows that you cannot go with "the competition. ”. Basic monopoly logic. The fact that your company is so good and efficient that it achieves this status in the market is not bad, it would be bad if it achieved that level based on behaviors that harmed the competition. But, if you managed to reach this status, it is necessary to establish certain “rules of the game” to prevent abuses from occurring.

Under this logic, the project gives way for news publishers to have a higher degree of negotiation, especially with regard to advertising revenue and access to information on subscribers.

Finally, the Democrat, David Cicilline pointed out: “This bill will give hard-working local journalists and editors the helping hand they need right now, so they can continue to do their important work.".


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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.


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