Australia Set to Investigate Google, Facebook Over Their Impact on News Market

The Australian government has ordered the competition watchdog to investigate Google and Facebook's impact on the ...

The ACCC to investigate Facebook and Google's power in the Aus media market

In turn this has resulted in many companies sort of forced to play by their rules, because getting deranked from Google could mean losing a significant chunk of your visitors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched an inquiry into the effects of "digital platform providers" such as Facebook and Google on the media landscape.

It will investigate whether the disruption of the news media by the U.S. tech giants has been detrimental to consumers and publishers.

Media-buying agency GroupM expects Facebook and Google to consolidate their domination of online advertising, and control almost 85 per cent of all online advertising - outside China - this financial year.

Silicon Valley tech giants would have to take some responsibility for the issues the media industry is now facing in Australia, with a decline in advertising spending, Senator Griff said.

Opposition communications spokesman Michelle Rowland told The New Daily the ACCC inquiry was too late and left the news media "languishing for another 18 months with only an ideologically-motivated regional and small publishers' fund and cadetship program to hold on to".

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ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement the inquiry "will study how digital platforms such as Facebook and Google operate to fully understand their influence in Australia".

The Australian probe will have power to demand information from businesses and hold hearings.

"The ACCC will look closely at the impact of digital platforms on the level of choice and quality of news and content being produced by Australian journalists", he said.

"We are keen to hear the views of content creators, mainstream media outlets and smaller media operators, platform providers, advertisers, journalists, consumers and small business interest groups", Mr Sims said. While "fake news" would be part of this discussion, it wouldn't be the main focus, the report said, quoting Sim. The ACCC's preliminary report isn't due until early December in 2018, and a finished report will have to wait until June 2019.

The ACCC will soon distribute an issues paper outlining matters relevant to the inquiry, and will be calling for public submissions. While the social giant announced a host of new hirings at the company to assemble a team of music industry professionals, it still needs all the necessary music publisher/society licensing deals with the industry.

"We look forward to a thorough inquiry into the Australian media market".

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