Morrison includes telcos in social media crackdown

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 21-Mar-19

The federal government will meet with representatives of ISPs and digital platforms on 26 March to discuss measures to prevent the distribution of objectionable content. Social media companies have come under scrutiny after their platforms were used to live-stream the Christchurch mosque shootings, and they were initially expected to be the focus of the government’s talks. However, representatives of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will also attend the meeting in Brisbane. The telcos have announced that they will block access to footage of the mosque attacks.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Dated media policies need fixing: Labor

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 7 : 15-Mar-19

Shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland has accused the federal government of adopting a piecemeal approach to media policy, claiming that it lacks a "coherent reform agenda". She adds that Australia’s media policy and industry regulation is a legacy of the analogue era and needs to be updated to take into account the rise of digital platforms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Break up Google to level field in media

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 13-Mar-19

News Corp Australia has used its submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Com­m­ission’s landmark review of digital platforms to propose forcing Google to sell either its search or advertising business. The media group contends that forced divestment may be the best way to address the market power of digital platforms. ACCC chairman Rod Sims recently noted that digital platforms are not subject to the same regulations as traditional media companies.

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

Google says new penalties would hurt tech sector

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 8-Mar-19

Google does not want new rules and penalties for failing to remove copyright-infringing content to be introduced. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission stated in its interim report on digital platforms that Australian rights holders struggle to get copyright-infringing content removed quickly from digital platforms, and recommended tougher rules in this area. Google contends that new regulations would harm Australia’s technology sector, as does lobby group StartUpAus.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, STARTUPAUS, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, 99DESIGNS PTY LTD, CANVA INCORPORATED, ENVATO PTY LTD

Facebook’s olive branch to publishers

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 28-Feb-19

Social media giant Facebook is set to launch its Facebook Journalism Project News Accelerator in Australia, in partnership with the Walkley Foundation. The initiative is aimed at assisting media companies to increase their revenue from social media, and it follows the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s landmark inquiry into digital platforms. Facebook will also provide funding for a pilot program aimed at improving the media literacy skills of high school students.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WALKLEY FOUNDATION FOR JOURNALISM, ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, THINK TV, AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL ADVERTISERS

Nine chief upbeat as digital lifts earnings

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Feb-19

Nine Entertainment Company has posted a pro-forma net profit of $126m for the first half of 2018-19, which is five per cent higher than previously. EBITDA rose by six per cent to $252m, although revenue fell three per cent to $1.2bn. CEO Hugh Marks notes that broadcasting now accounts for 54 per cent of the group’s revenue, compared with 86 per cent prior to the merger with Fairfax Media. Nine’s shares closed 7.2 per cent higher at $1.57 on 21 February.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, 9NOW, METRO MEDIA PUBLISHING PTY LTD, NINE.COM.AU, PEDESTRIAN

Fairfax regional papers to be sold by mid-year

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Feb-19

Nine Entertainment Company has advised that prospective buyers are undertaking due diligence on its Australian Community Media business, and a deal should be finalised by mid-2019. Formerly owned by Fairfax Media, ACM comprises more than 170 community and regional newspapers. Nine has also commenced the sale process for its New Zealand division, Stuff, as well as its events business.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, STUFF LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ALLEGRO FUNDS PTY LTD, ANCHORAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, PLATINUM EQUITY HOLDINGS, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA

Free TV calls for tax breaks for news production to curtail Google, Facebook

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: Online : 19-Feb-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has urged the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to develop new regulations for digital platforms in the wake of its landmark inquiry into the sector. Amongst other things, Free TV suggests that digital platforms could be subject to undertakings to ensure that media companies are fairly paid for their content. The lobby group has also proposed the introduction of a tax offset for the production of local news and journalistic content.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Free TV targets tech ad imbalance

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 24 & 26 : 11-Feb-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has called for a level playing field with regard to the media’s political advertising rules. She says the ban on broadcasting political advertising on traditional media creates a big disincentive for advertising on commercial TV, given that the ban does not apply to digital media. Fair has welcomed the recommendations of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s review of digital platforms, but she says urgent action is needed to address competition issues in the media sector.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Facebook lashes algorithm watchdog oversight

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 13-Dec-18

Social media giant Facebook has questioned the merits of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s proposal for a new regulator to be given responsibility for monitoring digital platforms’ algorithms. Facebook’s Andy O’Connell says the proposal is unnecessary and unworkable, and he has rejected suggestions that the company lacks transparency regarding its algorithms. He adds that Facebook will continue to engage with the ACCC as the competition watchdog prepares to release the final report of its inquiry into digital platforms in mid-2019.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED