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Article excerpt

FROM "COMMENTS ON FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION'S NEWS MEDIA WORKSHOP AND STAFF DISCUSSION DRAFT ON 'POTENTIAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO SUPPORT THE REINVENTION OF JOURNALISM'" BY GOOGLE INC.

THE DISCUSSION DRAFT LAMENTS that newspapers' classified advertising revenue has fallen from $19.6 billion in 2000 to $6 billion in 2009. However, the loss of this revenue is the result of a changing business environment: Many businesses do not place classified ads with newspapers because the people they want to reach no longer look for advertisements in print newspapers.... This is revenue that has been lost due to a change in the classified advertising business, a change that reflects, moreover, more and more vigorous competition. Indeed, the loss

of classified advertising to Craigslist, eBay and other online advertisers has nothing to do with copying or free-riding, and everything to do with the emergence of a new, more effective and more efficient product into the marketplace. The FTC would ordinarily regard such a situation as a cause for celebration--consumers are getting a better product at a lower price--not an opportunity to slow down that innovation through regulation. …

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