Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google.

The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern:

  • Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google
  • Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, cost and effectiveness of advertising on Facebook and Google platforms
  • A lack of independent measurement standards and tools to allow advertisers to easily assess the relative value of competing platforms
  • The ability of Facebook and Google to acquire potential competitors and require the use of their own products in order to access their platforms
  • Profiting from the content of others without payment or consent
  • A mammoth scale of data collected and stored without the informed consent ofconsumers and now a real barrier to entry in digital markets
  • Misuse of personal data and infringement of personal privacy
  • Actively profiting from pirate content that destroys the market for content creators.

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said, “This is a watershed moment for the media sector. Google and Facebook have become virtual monopolies, with huge influence and market power, but very little regulatory oversight. We are competing with these platforms for advertising dollars and for viewers. The ACCC has a critical role to play in ensuring that this fight occurs on fair terms.

“Commercial television broadcasters are still operating under a regulatory framework which was largely conceived in the 1980’s. We are the cornerstone of the Australian production ecosystem and the source of trusted news content that is vital to our democracy. The ACCC needs to ensure that the regulatory framework does not inhibit competition so that all Australians can continue to enjoy the local news and entertainment content they depend on.”

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