In an announcement made on Monday, Australia’s competition regulator stated it was looking into the allegations of disruption made against U.S. companies like Facebook and Google.
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.
These companies have slowly eaten into the Australian media sector’s advertising earnings as more and more advertisers opt for the international brands. This kind of external hand has resulted in a great financial loss for Australia’s media sector.
As such, more and more Australian consumers are veering away from local media groups and putting their trust in international companies. This in turn results in a flow of cash out of the country itself- a drastic problem for any country.
Additionally, the government fears that the encroachment of international networks will affect the quality of information being broadcast to the Australian public.
There have been a number of reports registered with the Australian government reporting instances of misinformation provided by international organizations.
To combat the issue at hand, the government has ordered a probe into the sector to both determine the extent of the issue and rectify any discrepancies.
Commenting on the situation, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims stated, “We will examine whether platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers”.
He added that the inquiry undertaken would also study the workings of these international competitors in order to “fully understand their influence in Australia”.
The governmental probe will have complete power to demand information from any business and media holding, regardless of nationality.
The committee is likely to make its final report in 18 months.