House kicks off antitrust probe into tech giants

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Congress on Tuesday opened an investigation into tech companies and antitrust issues with a hearing on how the industry has upended the business model of the news media and other publishers.

At the first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Silicon Valley’s market power, the panel’s subcommittee on antitrust heard from media advocates who accused internet giants such as Facebook and Google of having a stranglehold on digital advertising, and who urged lawmakers to level the playing field for publishers.

“Unfortunately in the news business, free riding by dominant online platforms, which aggregate and then reserve our content, has led to the lion’s share of online advertising dollars generated off the back of news going to the platforms,” said David Pitofsky, the general counsel for News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal.

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