Dec 6, 2022 - Technology

News competition bill gets the ax

Illustration of a crumbling newspaper

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A competition bill aimed at funneling funds from online platforms to the news industry was removed from a must-pass defense bill Tuesday at the last minute by congressional leaders.

Why it matters: The bill, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), would have forced Big Tech firms like Google and Meta to pay hundreds of local news outlets for their content.

What's happening: Early versions of the National Defense Authorization Act circulated this week included the bill, but it was gone from the final version posted Tuesday night.

Be smart: JCPA's inclusion was a surprise in the first place, and it was likely being used as a negotiating tool by lawmakers working out the final package.

What they're saying: Proponents viewed the proposal as a way to help struggling publishers who've lost advertising market share to online giants and now face a tough economic slowdown.

  • Tech industry and civil society groups aggressively pushed back against the bill, arguing that it would benefit big news conglomerates and compel tech companies to subsidize purveyors of misinfomation.

Go deeper: Our earlier story details the JCPA's provisions and the debate around it.

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