Two U.S. big tech antitrust bills backed by trade group of publishers


WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – A group representing publishers such as News Corp and National Public Radio wrote to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in support of two bills targeting big tech, including one that would open the stores of ‘smartphone applications to more competition. .

Digital Content Next, whose members also include The New York Times and The Associated Press, wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican, in support of a bill to limit app stores owned by Apple (AAPL.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google.

The group also backed a measure that would prevent giants like from favoring their own companies when customers search for their platforms.

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Both bills have been rejected by the committee in recent weeks. They were also approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Read more

“Platforms should be able to moderate their services to protect consumers, control IP theft and prevent security breaches. However, some dominant platforms have taken advantage of their privileged gatekeeper status to compete unfairly on others markets,” said Digital Content Next executives Jason Kint and Chris Pedigo. written in the letter.

They also expressed concern over any potential move to put publishers themselves into companies covered by bills – currently a small number of giant companies.

Publishers, whose news budgets have been slashed as advertising has dried up, have battled search and advertising giant Google over what they see as unfair siphoning by the advertising revenue business indispensable.

Smartphone maker Apple, target of the App Store bill, has urged that it not be passed because it supports practices such as “sideloading”, essentially using an app store not Apple, which would mean consumers would lose the privacy protections that Apple offers, among other concerns. Read more

Google, for its part, lowered its Play Store fees for subscription apps last October, following criticism of the 30% fee. Read more

U.S. lawmakers from both parties, some concerned about outsized market power and others about claims that conservative voices have been stifled, have scrutinized the biggest tech companies, including Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook (FB.O ). A long list of bills aims to contain them, but none has become law.

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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