The nation’s competitors regulator said Monday it has been directed by the federal authorities to analyze whether or not web corporations are hurting shoppers, content material creators and advertisers.
As in lots of different nations, Australia’s media business has been upended by the rise of digital platforms. Print newspapers have for years suffered declines in promoting revenues as corporations shift their spending on-line, a lot of it to tech giants like Fb and Google.
“Because the media sector evolves, there are rising considerations that digital platforms are affecting conventional media’s means to fund the event of content material,” mentioned Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competitors and Client Fee.
A Fb spokeswoman mentioned the corporate is trying ahead to “a radical inquiry into the Australian media market.”
“Whereas information is barely a small a part of the content material shared on our providers, we take our function within the media ecosystem very severely and make investments considerably in merchandise that assist publishers,” she mentioned.
Google did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
Australia’s inquiry is simply the newest probe into the rising function of worldwide web corporations.
Fb and Google have come underneath fireplace in different nations for his or her outsize affect within the media panorama, with critics questioning the tech corporations’ efforts to police the content material shared on their platforms.
Within the U.S., lawmakers grilled Fb (FB, Tech30), Google (GOOG) and Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) last month over how international nationals used social media platforms to unfold misinformation in the course of the 2016 presidential election.
Fb specifically is dealing with questions within the U.S. over adverts a Russian troll farm bought in the course of the presidential election. In Britain, it has been asked for information on any adverts bought by Russian-linked Fb accounts round June’s normal election and final 12 months’s Brexit referendum.
Google also found itself in the crosshairs of the U.S. Congress over Russian-bought adverts on its platform supposed to unfold misinformation and divisions in America earlier than the 2016 presidential election.
In Australia, the probe seems to be centered on the tech giants’ impact on market competitors. However it’ll additionally study their impression on the nation’s information business.
“By means of our inquiry, the ACCC will look carefully on the impression of digital platforms on the extent of selection and high quality of reports and content material being produced by Australian journalists,” Sims mentioned.
The fee says it’ll publish a preliminary report in a 12 months’s time.
CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First printed December four, 2017: 2:38 AM ET