Antitrust Finds No Problem With AP News Registry

By: E&P Staff

The Associated Press’ News Registry — a centralized service which will allow the cooperative, its members and other providers to display the terms for reuse and licensing of specific content — poses no antitrust problems, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

Justice’s Antitrust Division said the registry “is not likely to reduce competition among news content owners and could provide pro-competitive benefits to both participating content owners and content users.”

In its announcement, the department sounded an enthusiastic note about the service, which AP has tested in beta since last November and is set to launch officially in July.

“The Registry may provide a new, efficient mechanism through which content users can identify applicable terms of use and purchase licenses for news content they want to use,” Assistant Attorney General Christine A. Varney, who heads the Antitrust Division, wrote in a “favorable review” letter to the AP.

As such, it may reduce transaction costs associated with securing licenses for Internet content users,” she added. “In addition, the Registry’s ability to digitally track and measure Internet use may provide content owners with valuable information about their content that is not currently available.”

AP President and CEO Tom Curley said the News Registry is “a breakthrough innovation to help content creators get transparency around how content is used online and use that information to help develop exciting new products for news consumers.”

AP had requested the antitrust opinion on the voluntary service.

About 200 AP newspaper members are involved in the current beta testing of the News Registry.

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