Tech Industry

New bill could bring battle between tech and news publishers to the US

Lawmakers could give news publishers the ability to negotiate with companies like Google and Facebook over pay for content.

Angela Lang/CNET

US lawmakers are pushing a bill that would give news publishers the ability to get together to negotiate with the likes of Google and Facebook over issues around reader data and payment for content.

On Wednesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. John Kennedy introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.

"Newspapers are locked in a life-or-death struggle with tech giants like Google and Facebook, and it's not a fair fight," Kennedy said in a statement.

The proposed legislation follows controversy in Australia last month when Facebook stripped news from its platform after the country passed a law requiring tech firms to pay for news content. The social network has since lifted the blockade, after the Australian government made some concessions. 

So far, the US legislation has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Klobuchar told the publication that the legislation is being introduced now because Facebook and Google have an "unfettered monopoly," adding that the companies "thought they had so much power they could literally exit a major country."

Facebook and Google didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.