FTC Not Interested In Giving Newspapers Antitrust Exemption

from the well,-that's-a-start dept

We were pretty nervous, earlier this year, when an FTC report with ideas on how to "save" journalism appeared to focus mainly on saving newspapers, rather than on actually saving journalism. It had a number of really troubling and potentially dangerous ideas. The FTC is now planning to release a report by the end of the year that details its proposals for helping journalism, but at least one scary suggestion appears to be off the table: granting newspapers antitrust exemptions. FTC chair Jon Leibowitz dismissed it, saying "I'm not sure that would be a good policy," and then clarified that the "government shouldn't be picking winners and losers and should be platform neutral." Hopefully the plan really does stick to that idea... though it's still not clear why the government needs to be involved in "saving journalism" in the first place.


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  1.  
    identicon
    bob, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:32am

    Frankly I'm Surprised

    Surprised that part of the current US Government bureaucracy would make a comment such as, "government shouldn't be picking winners and losers and should be platform neutral."
    Especially given the types of laws that have been passed over the last 2 years where winners and losers are picked.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:36am

    Honestly, it's not clear why the govt should be involved in anti - trust suits either. It should mind its own business. Don't grant it special privileges, but don't go after it for silly reasons either. Just leave it alone (unless there is fraud involved or something).

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 4:58am

    Re:

    Competition in the marketplace is a good thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 5:23am

    Yellow journalism needs to be saved. How else would politicians smear their opponents? Have to spend those anonymous campaign contributions some where.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Don't worry they will find ways to screw it up.
    It is what the government is good for at least in the last 20 years the had been great at it.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Matthew, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 6:24am

    "it's still not clear why the government needs to be involved in "saving journalism" in the first place."

    The press is often referred to as the fourth estate. Although unofficially, it plays a role in the operation of government. I'll play the optimist here. One might regard the solvency of the press (as a whole; not individual players) as important to democracy as the continued operation of the legislature.

     

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  7.  
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    Allan Masri (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Monopolies

    You guys are too much. You live in a country where monopoly interests have seized much of the wealth and are in the process of seizing the government as well, but you naively contend that the government should not try to stop them. Listen up: What benefits billionaires does not benefit you, unless you happen to be one.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    Never said otherwise, but free markets are perfectly capable of producing competition. If a monopolist or cartel makes too much money new people will quickly enter the market provided there are no laws that make it difficult for them to do so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    WendyNorris (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Paging Net Neutrality ... Please pick up the white courtesy phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You need to read up on history. Google "Standard Oil", and you will see how much damage can be caused, and in how short a time. Then come back and comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re:

    Yes, exactly. This is why the government is concerned with the press. The press is supposed to give transparancy and expose corruption. The only problem is, no one in the press will do anything negative anymore, because they fear losing access. Negative articles will result in certain reporters being locked out of meetings and interviews. So the value of modern journalism is questionable at best.
    By the way, please don't throw around the term, "Democracy." Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for lunch. We're a Republic for a reason.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    "Hopefully the plan really does stick to that idea... though it's still not clear why the government needs to be involved in "saving journalism" in the first place."

    Journalism needs saved from newspaper industry, just as music needs saved from the recording industry.

    If the newspaper industry had it's way, it would be the only available outlet for journalism. Now replace "newspaper" with "recording" and "journalism" with "music".

     

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