The purpose of a joint operating agreement (JSA) is to protect a company from bankruptcy while preventing monopolization within an industry by allowing each party to maintain a separate form of operation. JOAs are used in newspapers, healthcare, oil and gas, and other industries. In the healthcare sector, hospitals can form an JOA to create a stronger financial structure. The JOA, also known as a virtual merger in this industry, allows hospitals to retain separate boards of directors, but entrusts management to a separate company. Hospitals coordinate services, construction supplies, and equipment purchases on a large scale, but maintain some of their own policies. Religious hospitals benefit from a hospital network while maintaining their religious affiliation. For example, a Catholic hospital that enters an JOA may maintain its stance against abortion and continue its individual programs to treat the poor. The Newspaper Preservation Act was presented as a relief measure that allowed several competing newspapers in the same market to reduce their costs, thereby ensuring that no newspaper could dominate the market by bankrupting the others. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that the passage of the law was less about protecting editorial diversity in community newspaper markets than about inflating the profit margins of national newspaper chains.  By quietly and informally adopting some of the cartel`s behaviors, the big newspaper chains could make artificially high profits while forcing independent newspapers into bankruptcy (or forcing them to sell their stake to a channel).  Note that many of the items listed in the following sections have the same ownership groups.
In fact, President Richard M. Nixon initially opposed the passage of the bill (like his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson) as opposed to the essential practices and character of free-market capitalism. The first joint operating agreement was signed between the Albuquerque Tribune (then New Mexico State Tribune) and the Albuquerque Journal in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 20, 1933. Their correspondence became typical of the type – both newspapers were printed on the same presses at different times of the day. Classifieds sales have been consolidated, as have sales agents. A joint unit has been set up to carry out these functions, which is also represented on its management board in both documents. The reports and editing remained completely separate, although they are under one roof in different parts of the same building. The Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 was an act of the United States Congress signed by President Richard Nixon that authorized the formation of joint venture agreements between competing media companies in the same market area. It exempted newspapers from certain provisions of antitrust law.
The authors argued that this would allow the survival of several dailies in a particular urban market where circulation was declining. This exemption results from the observation that the alternative is usually that at least one of the newspapers, usually the one that appears in the evening, ceases its activities completely. .