Newspapers across the United States filed a lawsuit cause antitrust against Google and Facebook over the past year, arguing that the two companies have monopolized the digital advertising market and appropriated revenue that otherwise would have gone to local newspapers.
What began as a small town attempt to take a stand against big tech companies has transformed in a national movement with more than 200 participating newspapers in dozens of states.
“The intellectual framework for this move has evolved over the past three to four years,” said Doug Reynolds, managing partner of HD Media, a holding company that owns several West Virginia newspapers, including the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Reynolds, along with a group of lawyers, filed the first such lawsuit in the newspapers in January in West Virginia.
As part of the first lawsuit, Reynolds worked with a coalition of lawyers who agreed to represent newspapers across the country trying to bring cause similar.
The cause they are funded by the emergency, which means that the lawyers involved are not paid unless the newspapers get the deals.
According to Axios, the aim of the dispute is “to recover damages to the newspapers in past “caused by big tech companies, says Clayton Fitzsimmons, one of the attorneys representing the newspapers.
The other reason is “create a new system in future in so that newspapers are not only competitive again, but they can thrive, “he said, referring to laws like Australia that force tech companies to pay publishers for their content.
The cause were brought after the House Justice Commission released its flagship report on digital competition last October, which included a section in newspapers. Lawmakers are keen to understand how the dominance of Google and Facebook has affected the newspaper industry.
The Justice Department, along with several state attorneys general, sued in Google judgment for violation of antitrust laws.
Facebook is facing a similar antitrust lawsuit from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the report, all cause were consolidated by a jury over the summer in New York’s Southern District.
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