Watch Live: Senate Lawmakers Debate Controversial Media Cartel Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which would establish a media cartel to coordinate with big tech against conservative media outlets.

The hearing, “Breaking the News — Journalism, Competition, and the Effects of Market Power on a Free Press,” will discuss the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.

The legislation would create a federal carveout in federal antitrust law to allow media companies to collectively bargain with big tech companies.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Republicans such as Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) have pushed this highly controversial proposal.

Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle explained:

Proponents of the bill argue it would force big tech giants like Google and Facebook to profit share with media outlets for content that is shared on their platforms, but critics worry the proposal has several shortcomings and that it would in essence allow establishment media outlets to create cartels of their own thereby solidifying control of the marketplace boxing out independent publishers.

The proposal is pushed in large part by an industry lobbying group known as the News Media Alliance, which counts among its board members executives of many top media companies like Fox News’s parent company News Corporation, Politico’s German parent company Axel Springer, USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many, many other media outlets. Those companies hope the proposal passes because they want to collectively bargain with big tech companies, theoretically hoping they would get a big payday at the end of it.

However, the proposal has several loopholes and flaws in it that would hurt more independent publishers. It has no favored nations clause, meaning that specific media companies or groups of media companies—cartels—can negotiate their own deals with big tech companies and leave out media outlets they do not want to be part of the deal. Given the way establishment media outlets have treated conservative media outlets, some more independent-minded liberal media outlets, and just generally anyone who challenges the orthodoxy of the narrative that the establishment media is pushing at any given time, it is unlikely to think that any of them would change their behavior upon adoption of this proposal.

Conservatives across the political spectrum have announced their opposition to this bill, including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). On the House side, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) have slammed this bill.

“Creating a media cartel would mean more censorship of conservatives,” Cotton told Boyle on Wednesday. “We don’t need a journalism bailout. This bill is deeply flawed, and I’ll work to make sure it’s defeated.”

The hearing starts at 3:00 P.M. Eastern. Follow Breitbart News for more coverage of this bill.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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