Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will create a code of conduct to address complaints that the technology companies have a stronghold on advertising, the main income generator of local media operators.
The guidelines will ensure substantial market power is not used to lessen competition in media and advertising services markets.
Morrison said he wanted Australia to be the model jurisdiction in the world for how we are dealing with digital platforms, social media platforms.
The move tightens the regulatory screws on the online platforms, which have governments from the United States to Europe scrambling to address concerns ranging from anti-trust issues to the spread of “fake news” and hate speech.
Australia’s government said technology companies would need to agree to the new rules by November 2020 or it will impose them.
Google and Facebook said they supported a sustainable news ecosystem which is why we work with publishers to help them reach new audiences.
However while they have opposed tighter regulation, traditional media owners, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp want reform.
“It’s great the government is making a serious attempt to address the deep-rooted dominance of the online tech and streaming giants,” said Paul Anderson, chief executive of Australia’s Network 10.