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

Code of conduct needed for market failure: Sims

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 18-Nov-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has stressed the need for technology giants such as Google and Facebook to be subject to a code of conduct in their negotiations with traditional media companies. He has identified this as the most important recommendation arising from the ACCC’s inquiry into digital platforms. He notes that technology companies have made some progress in reducing the imbalance in bargaining power, adding that a code would facilitate this process.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, SKY NEWS, JUNKEE MEDIA PTY LTD, PEDESTRIAN TV, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

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

‘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

News in call for curbs on big tech

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 1 : 30-Sep-19

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has called for legislative action to reign in the market power of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook. Amongst other things, he says such platforms should sign a mandatory code of conduct and be prohibited from using any publisher’s content unless they do so. Miller contends that technology platforms have been the biggest cause of damage to Australia’s media industry and Australians’ access to trusted and reliable content.

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

Nine: Tech giants must share revenue

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 26-Sep-19

Google and Facebook account for the bulk of digital advertising revenue in Australia, and other players collectively receive just $0.29 of every dollar spent. Nine Entertainment Company has called for a "fair" revenue sharing arrangement between the digital giants and content producers, and it argues that a proposed new division within the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission should be responsible for ensuring that commercial contracts are fair to both parties.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

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

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