Google, which did not reply to a request for comment, keeps much of its data about search and revenues in a black box alongside its algorithm, the NYT added.
In 2018, the news industry in the United States made an estimated $5.1 billion from digital advertising, a sum spread out across scores of companies, where newsrooms hemorrhage jobs and small-town papers shutter at an alarming rate. "They are links TO the publishers".
That's how much Google made from news content created by other companies during 2018, according to the study by the News Media Alliance. Focusing on tech platforms' effects on journalism, it's the first of a series of hearings looking at antitrust activity in the tech sector. But that wouldn't necessarily make it a monopoly, either. "And unless they're raising prices for advertisers, which I haven't heard of them doing, they might not meet that requirement".
This imbalance is causing many to demand Google share a part of their revenue from its news service with publishing companies - who actually spend time, money and resources to gather the news. "We have an exponentially larger audience than we ever had", said Danielle Coffey, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the News Media Alliance. While there's some evidence to back this - no ads are served on the News app or on the News tab under search - there are top-line ads served on the main page of search results which often comes up with a Top Stories carousel that sits just below an ad. But we have an intermediary. "And when that happens, we're stripped of a large portion of advertising revenue".
Last year, Google brought in $136.8 billion across all its revenue streams. The number of newspaper employees shrank by 25% over that same period, according to the Pew Research Center.
Because whether it's $4.7 billion, or more than that or less, it's a lot of money for sure.
The tech giant made $4.7 billion from publisher content surfaced in Search and News a year ago, according to the study from the News Media Alliance. "The group arrives at its headline figure with little more than a back of the envelope scribble based mostly on a number one-time Google exec Marissa Mayer mentioned offhandedly during a lunch in 2008", writes Slate reporter Jordan Weissman.
News, the study said, is "increasingly important" to Google, accounting for about 40% of its trending search queries.
"We've worked very hard to be a collaborative and supportive technology and advertising partner to news publishers worldwide", it wrote.
What could the government do?Despite repeat attacks on the press by the president, the bill has bipartisan support in the Senate and House.
Chavern said he hoped that an outcome of any conversation generated by the study would be the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act which would give news publishers a four-year antitrust exemption, allowing them to collectively bargain with the owners of online platforms over revenue splitting. Book publishers tried mass negotiation with Apple some years ago, only to be met with a price-fixing lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department.
"In the interim, news publishers need a fighting chance".
Congress also has the ability to pass laws putting limits on companies' data collection or strengthening privacy protections for users.