Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Coverage Type: 

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states. "The intellectual framework for this developed over the last 3-4 years," said Doug Reynolds, managing partner of HD Media, a holding company that owns several West Virginia newspapers, including the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Reynolds, along with a group of lawyers, filed the first newspaper lawsuit of this kind in January 2021 in West Virginia. As a part of the first lawsuit, Reynolds worked with a coalition of lawyers that has agreed to represent newspapers all over the country looking to file similar lawsuits. To-date, the group has been retained by over 30 newspaper ownership groups (list) on behalf of over 200 publications to file lawsuits. The goal of the litigation is "to recover past damages to newspapers" caused by Big Tech companies, says Clayton Fitzsimmons, one of the lawyers representing the newspapers.

Scoop: Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech