U.S. Department of Justice does not challenge online subscription news service

On 24 February 2010 the Department of Justice issued a business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service) that would be operated by MyWire, Inc. The proposed service would aggregate content from content owners and allow publishers to show content blocks for related items next to their own content, accessible for free or for a fee.

The Department of Justice considered that the arrangement is not exclusive and does not restrict the prices that publishers can charge for their content, apart from requiring content not to be distributed for free in case it is offered for a fee in the service. Each publisher would continue to price its content unilaterally and MyWire would set subscription fees charged from consumers and per-click fees paid to publishers whose content is accessed through the service.

The service can produce pro-competitive benefits, in particular, by allowing broader access by consumers to related content with less effort and by allowing publishers access to expanded traffic and enabling them to better identify consumers interested in their content. [Juha Vesala]

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