Online Advertising Probe Looms As Government Issues Response To Digital Platforms Inquiry

Online Advertising Probe Looms As Government Issues Response To Digital Platforms Inquiry
SHARE
THIS



The Federal Government has pledged $26.9 million towards a new digital platforms unit in the ACCC and will commence the process of creating a “platform-neutral regulatory framework”.

It comes in response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry, which assessed the impact of the likes of Google and Facebook on Australia’s media industry.

Of the ACCC’s 23 recommendations, the government supports or supports in principle 16.

In a joint media release, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Minister for Communications Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher laid out their stance.

“Digital technologies are going to be an increasingly important part of our economic and social landscape,” they said.

“The Government wants to get the right regulations in place so Australia can be a leading digital economy.”

what’s changing?

While the outcome of the Digital Platforms Inquiry will eventually be a new media regulatory framework, this appears to still be some time away.

The most immediate response is the establishment of a Digital Platforms Branch within the ACCC, which will receive $27 million over four years to monitor and biannually report on digital platforms.

The new Branch will also have the right to take enforcement action “as necessary” and conduct inquiries as directed.

One of the Branch’s first points of action will be an inquiry into competition for the supply of ad tech services and the supply of online advertising by advertising and media agencies.

Additionally, from 2020 onwards the government will begin crafting the new “platform-neutral”, with an immediate focus on “addressing bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and news media businesses by asking the ACCC to work with the relevant parties to develop and implement voluntary codes to address these concerns”.

‘Phase One’ will initially focus on developing a uniform classification framework across all media platforms and looking at the purpose of content obligations on FTA broadcasters and whether such regulations should apply to SVOD services.

Following on from this in ‘Phase Two’, there will then be a review of the advertising “rules and restrictions across all delivery platforms”.

This will seek to remove “redundant” legislation and create a new legal framework for consumers and the industry.

There will also be an immediate review of the Privacy Act to ensure the settings “empower consumers, protect their data and best serve the Australian economy”.

The government supports the original recommendation to increase penalties for breaching this act and will introduce a binding social media and online platforms privacy code as part of the 2019–20 Budget.

Industry responds

Following on from the government’s announcement DIGI – the group which represents both Facebook and Google – issued its response.

“DIGI will be examining the Government’s response to the ACCC digital platforms inquiry closely, and we will continue to contribute to the ongoing consultation with the Government and regulatory bodies,” said DIGI managing director Sunita Bose.

“We recognise the importance of the issues raised in relation to maintaining competition in the news and advertising markets, and ensuring consumer privacy is protected online.

“We’ll be studying the proposals in detail to ensure that the consumer protections are fit for a digital era, and that there are no unintended consequences for Australia’s digital future, economic growth and global competitiveness.

“We welcome an economy-wide review of the Privacy Act, as consumers will have the same expectations of privacy, regardless of the specific company they interact with or the sector within which that company sits.”

Facebook managing director ANZ William Easton said: “We share the Government’s view that now is an opportune time for democratic countries like Australia to work with industry on new regulation for the internet that protects the choice and opportunities for millions of Australians that use our services.

“We support a sustainable news ecosystem which is why we work with publishers to help them reach new audiences and invest significantly in tools to provide transparency over the content people and publishers see on our services. Our primary focus remains on achieving economy-wide privacy protection, data portability and a user focused digital news distribution code, while preserving the many benefits that technology delivers in this country.”

A Google Australia spokesperson added: “Australians come to Google for helpful products and services, whether it’s finding answers to questions, getting directions through maps, or businesses connecting with new audiences through advertising. We have engaged closely with the ACCC and the Government throughout this comprehensive process and will continue to do so in 2020, including on focus areas such as privacy, ad tech and our work with publishers.”

Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: “This is a much needed and timely announcement from the Government in response to the recommendations that had been made by the ACCC as part of their digital platforms inquiry. It provides a clear timeline and platform for our industry to be able to engage with the social media platforms on a basis we ultimately believe will be a win win not only for our industry and the people that work in it, but the social platforms as well.

“We congratulate the Prime Minister, Minister Fletcher and the Government on its bold statement and look forward to the next steps in achieving recognition of the value that our content and our journalism means to the social platforms and their audiences.”

Seven West Media managing director and CEO James Warburton added: “Seven is particularly pleased by the announced process to swiftly address out of date Australian content requirements that are currently holding back Australian media businesses.

“We encourage the Government to move quickly to provide certainty to industry and put in place a new framework for content that better reflects commercial realities and the changed viewing patterns of Australian audiences.

“The urgent need for regulatory equality between foreign Digital Platforms and Australian companies has been recognised by the Government. We see this as a real turning point, as for too long legislation has lagged well behind technological evolution, disadvantaging Australian companies and providing foreign Digital Platforms with a free ride.”

“We are disappointed that the Government is not pursuing a mandatory take down scheme for copyright infringing material as recommended by the ACCC. But it is pleasing that the Government has committed to reviewing copyright enforcement mechanisms during 2020.”

Network 10’sCEO Paul Anderson said: “It’s great the Government is making a serious attempt to address the deep-rooted dominance of the online tech and streaming giants.

“On Free to Air content regulation, the issues are clear and the answers are already there. We just have to get cracking and get it done.”

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

ACCC digital platforms inquiry

Latest News

Pinterest Announces New Tools, Features and Experiences For Users
  • Media

Pinterest Announces New Tools, Features and Experiences For Users

Pinterest has introduced a new suite of creator and Pinner products and experiences globally, as the platform continues to evolve to become home for the next generation of creators. At its second annual Pinterest Creators Festival, featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Storm Reid.  Pinterest creators Kerin Rose Gold, Wendy’s World, Henri Purnell, Carolina Gelen and […]

Digitas Creates Its Own Flavour With Data Driven Beer
  • Marketing
  • Media

Digitas Creates Its Own Flavour With Data Driven Beer

Agency Digitas ANZ has developed its own unique brew of beer, galvanizing the team to channel its expertise in data, technology, digital media and creative. The brainchild of senior creative at Digitas, Nick Duron – Digitas’ ‘Unicorn Punch’ comes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties and was created as a means of making Australian and New […]

Afterpay’s New Study Shows How Next Gen Aussies Are Feeling About Post-Lockdown Life
  • Marketing

Afterpay’s New Study Shows How Next Gen Aussies Are Feeling About Post-Lockdown Life

As Australia prepares to hit its 70 per cent nationwide double vaccination milestone, a new study from Afterpay reveals how Gen Z and Millennials are ready to Press Play on their lives, after 9 in 10 (88 per cent) missed key life events through lockdowns. From hitting restaurants, cafés and pubs and jetting off overseas, […]

Come From Away Reopens In Sydney!
  • Media

Come From Away Reopens In Sydney!

Producers Rodney Rigby and Junkyard Dog Productions have announced that the worldwide smash hit, Tony and Olivier award-winning musical COME FROM AWAY, has reopened at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. The pandemic led to all theatre shows closing curtains in Sydney, however, with vaccinations rates soaring and restrictions easing, the theatre is back and Sydney […]

Guardian Australia Launches Revealing Climate Change Podcast, Australia V The Climate
  • Media

Guardian Australia Launches Revealing Climate Change Podcast, Australia V The Climate

Former PMs, high-ranking politicians and climate experts blow the whistle on how Australia became an international climate change pariah in the new Guardian Australia podcast series, Australia v the climate. Guardian Australia will release a special investigative podcast series ahead of the Cop26 global climate summit, scrutinising Australia’s role in the climate crisis over more […]

Enero’s Q1 Revenues Soar 22.6%
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Enero’s Q1 Revenues Soar 22.6%

B&T's unsure if Enero boasts Champagne clients on its books, but the corks should be popping on these bubbly numbers.

Vevo Launches New App On Fetch TV
  • Marketing
  • Media

Vevo Launches New App On Fetch TV

Music video network Vevo is for the groovers, the chanteuses, the karaoke kings and the hairbrush mime artists.

Media Chiefs Dissect 10’s Upfronts
  • Media

Media Chiefs Dissect 10’s Upfronts

Judging by this, media bosses liked what they saw from 10's Upfronts. They were ecstatic that Rove wasn't returning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Diversity, Tech And Influencers At The Heart Of Are Media’s TRENDtalks: Beauty
  • Media

Diversity, Tech And Influencers At The Heart Of Are Media’s TRENDtalks: Beauty

The beauty industry needs to reflect greater diversity both in front and behind the camera, as consumers increasingly align with brands that share their values, according to a panel of leading experts speaking at Are Media’s latest insight series TRENDtalks: Beauty. Hosted by leading Australian beauty expert and presenter Michael Brown, TRENDtalks: Beauty also highlighted […]

Podsights Report Finds iHeartPodcast Network Performs Above Global Measurement Benchmarks
  • Marketing
  • Media

Podsights Report Finds iHeartPodcast Network Performs Above Global Measurement Benchmarks

Findings from the latest Podsights Benchmark Australian Report shows ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network is a market leader in advertising effectiveness and continues to perform well above global benchmarks. Through its partnership with Podsights, ARN is setting the standard for podcast advertising measurement, providing commercial partners with data-led insights to ensure maximum engagement and conversion with iHeartPodcast […]

Microphone in front of the sound mixer and computers in broadcasting radio studio. New radio station studio.
  • Advertising

Metropolitan Commercial Radio Ad Revenue Up 12.7% In September

Advertising revenue for metropolitan commercial radio stations reached $53.149 million in September, reflecting a year on year rise of 12.7 per cent, according to data compiled by Milton Data and released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA). September quarter ad revenue totalled $151.373 million, up 16.1 per cent from the corresponding period a year […]

GAMURS Group Appoints Alex Walker To Lead Content Across Asia Pacific
  • Media
  • Technology

GAMURS Group Appoints Alex Walker To Lead Content Across Asia Pacific

GAMURS Group, the esports and entertainment media network that reaches more than 100 million passionate gamers globally per month, has announced the appointment of Alex Walker as its vice president of content for the Asia Pacific region. Walker joins GAMURS after more than six years at Allure Media and Nine’s Pedestrian Group, where he was […]