Paying for News: What Google and Meta Owe US Publishers — Draft Working Paper
Working Paper #1
This paper estimates the payment that Facebook and Google Search platforms would owe to news publishers for the use of news content, if the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA) comes into force. Existing deals made between these platforms and news publishers do not capture the full value generated by news content on the platforms. Using game theoretical insights into cooperative bargaining in cases where there is jointly-created value, we find a compelling case for a large payment from platforms to news publishers. Our contributions are not only that we provide a dollar amount for what is owed – which we estimate at between US$11.9 billion and US$13.9 billion a year in the United States – but also that we detail our methodology to enable others to replicate our work or use our approach to calculate a “fair payment” to publishers in other markets. We benchmark our estimates against recent agreements between news outlets and Google and Meta (previously known as Facebook), as well as with a database of licensing agreements made over recent decades for similar content-based products.
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