(RightWing.org) – A Democratic senator broke down last Tuesday, December 6, as the chances of passing a controversial media law fell sharply. The key issue is whether media companies should be allowed to form cartels to negotiate better deals with tech companies. Still, the debate has also raised the question of why inappropriate legislation is being crammed into completely different bills.
.@SenAmyKlobuchar visibly frustrated at potential backsliding on JCPA. Says Meta statement spooked lawmakers: “You can't have 18 months of hearings over in the House of Representatives and then produce nothing. Right?”
— Gram Slattery (@G_Slattery) December 6, 2022
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has been pushing hard to get the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JPCA) through Congress. If passed, the act would exempt media companies from antitrust legislation, letting them form alliances and increase their negotiating power with tech companies and social media platforms. In her desperation to get the law passed, Klobuchar had inserted it into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — even though it has nothing to do with defense.
Now, though, other legislators are starting to get cold feet. The tech industry isn’t happy with the JPCA, and Meta — which owns Facebook and Instagram — has threatened to drop all news content from its platform if the bill passes. There are also fears that the law would mostly benefit big media companies. The Facebook founder slammed the idea of legislation that would force tech companies to make massive payments to the media would be “a terrible precedent for all American businesses.”
Now that the JPCA has been stripped from the NDAA, that’s probably the end of the law. If it can’t survive as part of the most important law Congress passes every year, it probably won’t make it on its own.
The question is, should it ever have been attached to the defense bill in the first place?
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