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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers in both chambers are kicking off a new effort to change how news companies band together to negotiate with Big Tech in the U.S., as governments around the world re-think how tech platforms should treat news publishers.

What's happening: A bipartisan group of lawmakers have re-introduced a bill —the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — that would let news publishers collectively negotiate with digital platforms over how they can use their work.

  • The bill, which has been floated in Congress previously, is being introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La) and Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ken Buck (R-Co).
  • The re-introduction comes ahead of two Congressional antitrust hearings this week, one lead by Klobuchar, who heads up the antitrust subpanel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and another lead by her counterpart in the House, Cicilline.

What they're saying: “We must enable news organizations to negotiate on a level playing field with the big tech companies if we want to preserve a strong and independent press,” Klobuchar said. 

  • Buck said "thousands of news organizations [have been] crushed by the monopolistic power of Big Tech."

Between the lines: It's notable that this bill is being introduced in a bipartisan, bicameral way, showing lawmakers are serious about making a news antitrust exemption part of their competition efforts this Congress.

  • Cicilline told Axios lawmakers were paying close attention to the situation in Australia, which recently passed rules requiring the payment of publishers for headlines and links.
  • In Australia, News Corp heavily lobbied for that law. In the U.S., the News Media Alliance, which has 2,000 members, has been pushing for this bill. They now also have some help from Microsoft President Brad Smith, who supported the Australia efforts and will testify in the House on Friday.

Be smart: Getting the bill passed won't be easy, but global efforts give the lawmakers and news industry a boost.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

Social Democrats' win in Germany could shake up Europe

Olaf Scholz caught the bouquet on Sunday. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty

BERLIN Angela Merkel's political farewell was spoiled Sunday night when the Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly claimed victory in Germany's elections, just four years after suffering their worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: The stunning political comeback could swing the balance of power in Germany leftward after 16 years of rule by Merkel's conservative bloc, and it could lay the groundwork for a more ambitious European Union.

43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

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