Murdoch's News Corp calls for break-up of Google

Marco Green
March 15, 2019

Australian news groups have struggled in recent years with falling revenue and shrinking staff, as corporate media giants like Google dominate the digital economy.

News Corp Australia called on the country's competition regulator to implement a "bold solution" to internet giant Google's alleged "anti-competitive" practices in the journalism industry, including potentially breaking up the company.

News Corp's suggested remedies include "requiring digital platforms to make certain divestments; specifically, that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, should divest Google Search or Google Ad Manager" and "requiring functional separation and access to data on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) terms: requiring the functional separation of each component of Google's ad tech functions, including Google Search, and access to the data Google holds on Frand terms". Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

"The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight".

Google would not comment on the submissions by Oracle and News Corp Australia, the publisher of this masthead.

"The digital platforms are having a profound effect on the Australian media's ability to adequately fund the ongoing quality production of news and premium content", Nine said.

It has proposed a new regulator to investigate how the companies rank advertisements and news articles.

"The market power that Google and Facebook occupy makes it hard even for sophisticated and experienced businesses like News Corp".

Date 13 March 2019 Google needs to be broken up in view of the "unparalleled power" that it exerts over news publishers and advertisers, News Corp Australia says.

Both Google and Facebook have pushed back against this, stating that they don't play favourites and are keeping their algorithms to themselves.

News Corp said some of the recommendations made by the ACCC were not as important as others and tended to decrease the focus on recommendations that were central to tackling the issues at hand.

Google's submission to the ACCC - made public last week along with 85 others - said the interim report "bases many of its recommendations on the mistaken premise that Google has market power in search, search advertising, and news media referrals".

Oracle made these allegations in a document submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) digital platform inquiry.

"Similarly, preventing the default installation of the Google Chrome browser on devices and Google Search within browsers is unlikely to have a significant impact on Google's entrenched market power in online search".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article