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Australia’s bold move to force tech giants to start paying for the news appears to be reigniting US efforts to hold Google and Facebook to account for the gloomy state of the local news industry. Momentum is building for a new version of a bipartisan bill first introduced in 2019 that would allow US news publishers to band together to negotiate for payments by tech giants that link to their news content. A hearing for the Journalism Competition and Protection Act has been tentatively set for March 12 by the House Judiciary Committee, sources said. As before, the bill would give news publishers a “safe harbor” to collectively negotiate for payment without running afoul of anti-trust laws that normally prohibit group pricing discussions among competitors. But the new version will invite local broadcast TV news stations to join in on the talks — not just newspapers, according to a source close to the situation.

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