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US Media Companies Forfeit Readers Rather Than Adjust To Europe's GDPR

US Media Companies Forfeit Readers Rather Than Adjust To Europe's GDPR

In the recent onslaught of privacy updates dispatched for compliance with Europe’s new law, a few missing companies went unnoticed.

But when the General Data Protection Regulation went into effect Friday, the nonparticipants stood out.

What Happened

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), tronc Inc (NASDAQ: TRNC) and A&E Networks — a subsidiary of Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) — were found to have forgone the costly risk of violating GDPR and pulled out of the European market altogether.

EU readers of Tronc’s Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and other web media are now greeted with notices that “our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.”

Lee’s The Arizona Daily Star and St. Louis Post Dispatch, among others, were similarly restricted, as were the A&E, History and Lifetime channel websites.

Why It Matters

The percentage of total visitors and subscribers forfeited by Lee, Tronc and A&E services is unknown.

The firms seemingly deemed the proactive loss less damaging than the threat of GDPR-related fines, which could amount to 4 percent of global revenue, according to The New York Times.

What’s Next

The story isn’t necessarily over for European readers, though.

“We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market,” Tronc’s notices read. “We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

Related Links:

GDPR: The New European Data Rules And Why They Matters For Ad, E-Commerce Players

How The GDPR's Data Portability Rules Could Affect Client Churn

Posted-In: GDPRGovernment News Regulations Eurozone Markets Media Best of Benzinga


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