Disney in Comcast deal to take control of hot property Hulu

Original article by Joe Flint
The Australian – Page: 21 : 16-May-19

US media group Comcast has struck a deal to sell its one-third stake in streaming video service Hulu to Walt Disney Company. The deal could allow Disney to assume full ownership of Hulu in 2024. Hulu boasted more than 25 million subscribers in 2018, compared with just six million in 2014, and Disney has forecast that Hulu’s domestic operations will become profitable in fiscal 2023 or 2024. Disney plans to launch its own streaming service, which expected to target a different audience to Hulu.

CORPORATES
HULU LLC, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, COMCAST CORPORATION, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED

Google’s plea for defamation shield

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-May-19

Changes are needed to Australia’s defamation laws to ensure that there is more protection for public-interest journalism, according to the Centre for Media at the University of Technology, Sydney. It made its call in a submission to the current review into defamation laws, which is being led by New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman. In its submission to the review, Google stated that there need to be more protection for search engines when they are being sued for defamation for enabling access to third-party content.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Facebook, Google are not publishers: US anti-trust expert

Original article by Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 30-Apr-19

US competition lawyer Howard Shelanski has urged caution when it comes to passing laws that would dictate how Facebook and Google should display content or refer users to news websites. Shelanski, who is a partner with law firm Davis Polk and advises Facebook on competition law, contends that Google and Facebook are not publishers. On the question of mergers, Shelanski says there needs to be greater acknowledgement of the value of competition and innovation when regulators are assessing them.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, DAVIS POLK AND WARDWELL, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Missing Guvera boss Herft says he’s very easy to contact

Original article by Liam Walsh
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 24 : 26-Apr-19

The liquidators of failed music streaming company Guvera state that they have found it difficult to contact its CEO, Darren Herft, according to a creditors’ report. Glenn Spooner and Daniel Juratowitch of Cor Cordis say they have contacted the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for assistance on the matter, but that it has not yet been able to help them. However, Herft has rejected suggestions that he is hard to contact, saying he is in the US at the moment, where he intends to relaunch Guvera.

CORPORATES
GUVERA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GUVERA LIMITED, COR CORDIS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMMA PRIVATE EQUITY PTY LTD

Lew mulls next content move, says video paying off

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 26-Apr-19

Optus recently created the new role of vice-president of television, content and product development, recruiting Seven West Media executive Clive Dickens for the role. The role reflects the increased importance of video content to the telco, with drama and entertainment likely to be the next elements of its content strategy. CEO Allen Lew says content is one way by which Optus can differentiate itself from rival telcos.

CORPORATES
SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Netflix subscribers on rise, but growth slows at home

Original article by Joe Flint, Micah Maidenberg
The Australian – Page: 21 : 18-Apr-19

US-based subscription video-on-demand giant Netflix boasted 148.9 million paying subscribers worldwide at the end of March, exceeding its own forecast of 148.2 million. However, Netflix added just 1.7 million new customers in the US during the March quarter, compared with overall customer growth of 9.6 million. Netflix has forecast that subscriber numbers will grow by five million in the June quarter, including 300,000 in the US. Netflix is facing growing competition from rival streaming services.

CORPORATES
NETFLIX INCORPORATED, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, AT&T CORPORATION, HBO, APPLE INCORPORATED, CBS CORPORATION, SHOWTIME, WARNERMEDIA, COMCAST CORPORATION, NBC UNIVERSAL INCORPORATED

Violent net video ban faces review

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 25 : 8-Apr-19

Both sides of politics have committed to a parliamentary review of the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material legislation after the federal election. Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom co-founder Peter Greste warns that although the legislation provides defences for legitimate journalism, it will still require media organisations to defend themselves in court. He adds that cash-strapped newsrooms are now less likely to do so than in the past. The legislation was introduced in response to the live-streaming of the Christchurch mosque shootings on social media.

CORPORATES
ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Facebook bans foreign-funded political ads during May election

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 5-Apr-19

Facebook is the latest social media company to advise that it will not accept foreign payments for political advertisements on its platform during the upcoming federal election. Twitter has previously announced such a ban, while Facebook has also banned foreign-funded political advertising in Indonesia during that nation’s presidential election. Meanwhile, Facebook has responded by the issue of fake news by establishing a fact-checking unit in partnership with Agence France-Presse.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, TWITTER INCORPORATED, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Violent content bill could criminalise journalism

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 4-Apr-19

Legislation targeting social media companies for failing to remove violent content from their platforms is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives on 4 April. It was endorsed by the Senate on 3 April. Media industry executives have expressed concern that the proposed laws could extend beyond social media and impose criminal sanctions on traditional media companies for news reports that are broadcast on TV or on their websites. Attorney-General Christian Porter has stressed that the bill will only apply to video or audio content that is supplied by the perpetrator of a crime or terrorist attack.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NEWSMEDIAWORKS, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, TWITTER INCORPORATED, MICROSOFT CORPORATION, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, DIGITAL INDUSTRY GROUP, COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

Poor timing for media laws: Labor

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 2-Apr-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter has rejected Labor’s claims that the federal government has refused to show it a draft of proposed social media legislation. A spokesperson for Porter says the bill has been sent to Labor. Under the legislation, social media executives could go to jail for up to three years if they fail to remove terrorist-related content from their platforms sufficiently quickly. The government wants the legislation passed in the three sitting days before the federal election is called, with shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus accusing the government of setting a "ridiculous timetable" for getting the legislation through parliament.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY