Internet giants Facebook and Google face inquiry over digital power

The Australian government has ordered the competition watchdog to investigate Google and Facebook's impact on the ...

Australia to probe Web giants' impact on news, ads, competition

The review was part of the price exacted by South Australian senator Nick Xenophon for smoothing the passage of law reforms allowing further consolidation of Australian media companies.

It is no secret that there are a handful of websites and services that dominate the web, like Google for search, and Facebook for social media.

"The ACCC will look closely at the impact of digital platforms on the level of choice and quality of news and content being produced by Australian journalists", he said.

The news comes on the back of reports that Australia's traditional media companies have faced major losses due to the advent of foreign companies like Facebook, Google, and Netflix.

The announcement came today (4 December), and the Australian government has directed the ACCC to examine how search engines, social media platforms and content aggregation platforms are affecting competition in media and advertising markets.

Sims added that the body is seeking out the views of "content creators, mainstream media outlets, and smaller media operators, platform providers, advertisers, journalists, consumers and small business interest groups".

Google and Facebook's power in the Australian media market will be the subject of an investigation by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).

Silicon Valley tech giants would have to take some responsibility for the issues the media industry is now facing in Australia, with a decline in advertising spending, Senator Griff said.

The regulator could also hold hearings during the inquiry process.

"The ACCC will look closely at longer-term trends and the effect of technological change on competition in media and advertising", Rod Sims, the ACCC chairman, said.

The commission says it will publish a preliminary report in a year's time. "Fake news" incidentally is believed to be one of the discussion points.

The ACCC will soon distribute an issues paper outlining matters relevant to the inquiry, and will be calling for public submissions.

Media market analyst Roger Coleman of CCZ Australia also questioned the objective of the ACCC inquiry, telling The New Daily internet disruption of Australia's mainstream media was "the great attrition".

Since 2000, European regulators have investigated tech giants Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon over a range of antitrust issues.

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