Tensions rise between Capitol Hill and Facebook, Google over news distribution

Facebook and Google are heading into a showdown with Congress over a law that would allow news organizations to bargain with tech platforms over the distribution of their content.

A bill that gained bipartisan support last Congress is expected to be reintroduced soon, and the tech platforms have already previewed their line of attack amid an ongoing battle over an Australian proposal that would force the Silicon Valley giants to pay publishers.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would not go that far, but it would provide a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print or digital news companies to allow them to collectively negotiate with digital content distributors, such as Google and Facebook, regarding the terms on how the content is distributed.