Newspapers to Seek Limited Antitrust Exemption to Take on Google, Facebook – Rivard Report

During the past 20 years, many U.S. newspapers have experimented with online news delivery, but they’ve had just limited success. It’s true that consumers are increasingly getting news online, but most turn to news aggregators such as Yahoo News and Google News or social media like Facebook.

The problem is most aggregators and social media sites do not produce original news content. Rather, they republish news stories produced by newspaper reporters and ultimately benefit from such content without having to pay much, if at all, for it. Some newspaper publishers even get really upset – calling Google a “digital vampire” sucking “newspaper blood.”

With a huge user base that attracts a large amount of ad spending, Google and Facebook have evolved into tech giants with unprecedented global market power. In contrast, most of the 1,300 U.S. daily newspapers operate in narrowly defined geographic areas with average weekday circulation under 30,000 – and dropping. For these newspapers to compete with Google and Facebook online is like a local diner trying to compete with McDonald’s. There is simply no chance of winning.

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