Australia Investigates Impact of Duopoly

This week, Australia’s competition regulator announced it would look into whether the tech duopoly – Facebook and Google – has disrupted the news media market to the disadvantage of publishers and consumers.

The News Media Alliance has long advocated for intercession on behalf of publishers against Facebook and Google’s market dominance. In July, we called on the U.S. Congress to allow publishers to negotiate collectively.

Australia’s investigation addresses the growing concern about the future of journalism. In a statement, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said, “We will examine whether platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers.”

Google and Facebook dominate online news traffic and collect the bulk of digital ad revenue. Because of this digital duopoly, publishers are forced to surrender their content and play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized and monetized.

I am glad to see other countries taking proactive steps to protect the integrity and future of journalism.

The results of the probe are expected in 18 months.


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