Google hit for billions but EU chief regrets not going harder

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Dec-19

The federal government will release details of its formal response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s digital platforms inquiry on 12 December. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says the government is working through its response to issues raised by the ACCC. Meanwhile, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says that in retrospective she would have taken a "bolder" approach to the anti-trust case against Google. The digital giant was fined more than EUR8bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, EUROPEAN COMPETITION COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT

Coalition wary of content tax on tech giants

Original article by Leo Shanahan, David Swan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 4-Dec-19

Facebook says it supports 15 of the 29 recommendations in the final report of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s digital platforms inquiry. Facebook also rejects suggestions that it has hired lobbyists to influence the federal government’s response to the report, and states that the ACCC’s proposed code of conduct would "unfairly shield" media companies. Meanwhile, the government is said to be concerned that requiring digital players to pay media companies for the use of their content could be perceived as a new tax, which could in turn prompt digital companies to relocate offshore.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Privacy, ads focus of reply to report

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 25 : 18-Nov-19

The federal government was slated to release its response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s inquiry into digital platforms by the end of 2019. However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has indicated that this could be delayed until early 2020, noting that the government is "working through the details" of the ACCC’s final report. He has identified digital players’ dominance of advertising revenue and how they collect and monetise users’ data as key concerns.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Call for tougher rules for big tech despite shift

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 2 : 10-Oct-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has stressed the continued importance of a strong newspaper industry in the era of digital platforms. He says that although there are signs that technology giants such as Facebook and Google are starting to recognise the need to pay for news content, the ACCC and its overseas counterparts will keep pushing for greater regulation of the sector to ensure a level-playing field for traditional media companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA LLC, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA

‘We’re here to help’ pledge challenged

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 23 : 30-Sep-19

Australia’s commercial free-to-air TV networks argue that regulation of digital giants such as Google and Facebook is necessary. Nine Entertainment’s group director of regulatory affairs, Clare Gill, has stressed the need for a regulated response from the federal government, to ensure a level playing field for traditional media companies and digital platforms. Ten’s COO Annabelle Hird has expressed concern that digital platforms’ behaviour will not change unless they are subject to a code of conduct or monitoring by the ACCC.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, CBS CORPORATION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, INTERNATIONAL NEWS MEDIA ASSOCIATION

Digital titans’ success comes at our expense

Original article by Michael Miller
The Australian – Page: 23 & 25 : 30-Sep-19

The federal government’s response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s digital platforms inquiry must include legislative action to address the market power of technology platforms. The massive profits generated by these platforms are based on their unfair commercial exploitation of content from companies such as news publishers, and failure to address this issue will result in the loss of more jobs and valuable sources of information for many communities.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Digital giants to feel watchdog’s bite

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 24 : 29-Jul-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the proposed code of conduct for digital platforms would be compulsory, and any breaches of the code would attract large penalties. He adds that the code would result in new sources of revenue for media companies, and argues that in many ways digital platforms are publishers and should therefore be treated like publishers. The code of conduct is amongst the recommendations in the ACCC’s final report on its inquiry into digital platforms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Tech giants to face shake-up

Original article by Simon Benson, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 26-Jul-19

The federal government’s official response to the final report on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s inquiry into digital platforms will not be released until the end of 2019. However, the government is expected to endorse some of the ACCC’s key recommendations. Amongst other things, the ACCC has recommended greater scutiny of digital platforms’ use of news algorithms and how they use and store personal data. The ACCC’s final report will be released on 26 July, having been delivered to the government in June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, UNITED STATES. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Fletcher flags new tax on Netflix

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 24 & 26 : 17-Jun-19

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says the federal government may be open to accepting all of the recommendations of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s final report on its inquiry into digital platforms. He adds that Australia would be prepared to act alone in regulating large technology companies, although he adds that global regulatory action is needed for a consistent policy approach. Fletcher has also flagged the possibility of imposing a levy on digital video streaming providers such as Netflix to offset traditional TV broadcasters’ loss of revenue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

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