Media Industry Welcomes ACCC Report

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A who’s who list of Australian media executives have welcomed the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.

After beginning the process late in 2017, the government finally released the much-anticipated report on Friday, indicating tech giants Facebook and Google will be “held to account” for their role in shaping the current media landscape.

Upon releasing the 600-page report, treasurer Josh Frydenberg and communications minister Paul Fletcher announced a 12-week consultation process during which time a new Australia media framework will be developed.

And with the report calling into question the dominance of these tech giants, it is little surprise Australia’s traditional media players were welcoming of the findings.

Seven West Media boss Tim Worner said: “We have all been talking about this for a long time. I have to say that now it feels like we’ll be talking about it for a lot longer.

“Everyone agrees that these digital platforms have too much power and must be held to account to make their activities more transparent.

“And we’d also like to see them pay their fair share of tax, like the rest of us do.”

Nine CEO Hugh Marks congratulated the ACCC on the report.

“The ACCC has successfully identified the steps that need to be taken to bring about change for the benefit of Australian consumers and Australian businesses, in what is a complex area,” Marks said.

“We’re enthused by the strength of the Government’s clear commitment to implement that change – to protect the personal rights of Australians using digital platforms, to ensure the accuracy and reliability of information provided to Australians and to provide a framework that will assist content creators and owners to fairly monetise the results of their work.”

Network 10’s chief operating officer Annabelle Herd said: “It has taken a long time to get to this point and there is still a way to go to implement most of the recommendations. These are complex issues and, no doubt, there will be heavy push back.

“However, it does feel like the glamour of the global digital players has worn off in Canberra and for the first time there seems to be a strong political will to address big issues like inadequate regulation, lack of transparency, and the impact on Australian media companies, consumers and local content producers.”

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said: “We’re pleased the report recognises action is needed to address issues of market power and regulatory imbalances between the digital platforms and Australian media businesses.

“Greater transparency into how digital platforms operate in the advertising market will only be good for the wider industry and all Australian businesses making investment decisions on advertising expenditure.”

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) CEO Gai Le Roy SAID: “Consumers have increasingly come to expect that their online experience is customised and relevant to them. As an industry it’s essential therefore that we work together to find the right balance between delivering customised and relevant content and advertising experience to consumers which respects their privacy, while also allowing businesses to operate in a way that allows them to meet those consumers expectations.”

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said: “The ACCC’s ground-breaking report lays bare the unprecedented levels of market dominance of Google and Facebook and the impact that they have had on media companies and the millions of Australians that rely on them. “We have been calling for a strong regulatory response that allows our members to fairly monetise their content on the digital platforms since our initial submission to this inquiry in April 2018. The ACCC Final Report goes a long way towards delivering this outcome.”

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