Charleston Gazette-Mail owner Doug Reynolds discusses the paper’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook and Google.
The owner of a West Virginia newspaper has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, and Facebook, claiming they are manipulating the digital advertising market and making it harder for newspapers to survive.
“There is no financial stake large enough,” to make up for what’s happened to the newspaper industry in the past two decades, said Farrell, the lead lawyer in HD Media’s suit against the tech giants. Nationwide, more than 2,000 local newspapers have shuttered since 2004; half of all newsroom jobs have been eliminated. That tragic trend has only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, just when the information they provide is most needed.
“The freedom of the press is not at stake; the press itself is at stake,” lawyers Paul T. Farrell Jr., Paul J. Geller and Clayton J. Fitzsimmons wrote for HD Media.