After being forced to work with Australian news publishers, Facebook and Google are going on the offensive in the US.
Australia introduced legislation to force tech companies to pay for the news they link to and use. Both Facebook and Google vehemently objected, with the former briefly blocking all Australian news from its platform and the latter threatening to pull out of the country. Ultimately, both companies came to an agreement with Australian regulators and news publishers, but they clearly don’t want a repeat in the US.
According to NBC News, both companies are stepping up their fight against a bill that was introduced in the US to address the perceived inequality between large tech platforms and the news publishers that rely on them. Google has even gone so far as to launch a website touting its support of the news publishing industry.
To be fair, there are concerns the bill could put too much power in the hands of big publishers, as well as conglomerates that control multiple newspapers and media outlets. Nonetheless, supporters of the bill, such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, emphasized the need for a level playing field.
“We have to have an even playing field and allow people to negotiate,” she said in a congressional hearing.
Not all tech giants are opposed to increased legislation. Microsoft not only sided with the Australian efforts, but has also been assisting EU publishers in efforts to duplicate that success. The company has also outspokenly voiced support for such efforts in the US.