Digital Publishing
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Media execs talked about Facebook regulation in private meeting

Media execs have for years gathered together to gripe about Facebook and Google, but increasingly some are discussing a new concept — regulation.

In a trade group board meeting last week, dozens of media execs (whose companies have come to rely on ‘the Duopoly‘ for traffic) discussed Facebook’s sweeping changes to its News Feed. The forum, a gathering for publisher trade body Digital Content Next, offered the first opportunity for media executives to collectively process a move that will likely drastically reduce publishers’ audience size.

As attendees complained about the social giant’s lack of transparency in the news business, one European executive raised an idea. Jens Müffelmann, the head of the US unit of German media company Axel Springer, pointed out that European media outlets only really grabbed Google’s attention when EU regulators began to apply pressure, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

Executives appeared receptive to the point. “His comment stood out,” one attendee said. “It was framing for everyone a blueprint that worked.”

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