A law firm in Toronto has filed a lawsuit against Google and Facebook on behalf of a Southern Alberta newspaper after some anti-trust issues were brought to light when it comes to advertising costs. The lawsuit claims the two major tech giants have wrongfully controlled the Crowsnest Pass Herald advertising, taking the paper’s content for free, and benefiting financially while doing so. The owner and publisher of the Herald says there are other newspapers across the country which are in the same boat and it’s time local media companies take back what is theirs.
“I think at some point Google and Facebook are going to have to realize that they don’t get to own the world that newspapers do matter, they matter on so many levels. I think our industry to some extent has even lost that, that idea that we are supposed to be impartial, that we create we story, we tell the story and it’s up to the reader to come to a conclusion. When you’re getting money from the federal government and you’re getting money from different groups, you’re not able to be impartial, I don’t care who you are, you’re never going to be impartial. What we are saying is give us our fair share, let us do our job, and let us be what newspapers are supposed to be, the check and balances of the world,” said Lisa Sygutek, Owner and Publisher of the Crowsnest Pass Herald.
Similar lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of American newspaper companies involving the same issue.