Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. leads charge against Facebook, Google in Australia probe

News Corp, the Australia’s main newspaper group, led the charge in arguing that Facebook and Google’s dominance of digital advertising significantly undermined the news industry. (AFP)
Updated 03 May 2018
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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. leads charge against Facebook, Google in Australia probe

  • Murdoch and other executives from the company have long led calls for Facebook and Google to “level the playing field” and pay news companies for their content
  • Facebook opposed calls for tighter regulation, saying the rapidly changing digital landscape made the platforms “a challenging subject for regulatory intervention”

SYDNEY: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation accused Facebook and Google of “anti-competitive practices” in one of dozens of submissions to a probe of the tech giants released Thursday by Australia’s competition watchdog.
A total of 57 media companies, advertisers and journalist groups put forward their cases for changes in the operations of the Internet titans, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported.
News Corp, the country’s main newspaper group, its main competitor Fairfax Media and commercial broadcasters led the charge in arguing that Facebook and Google’s dominance of digital advertising significantly undermined the news industry.
“A number of digital platforms possess substantial market power and are engaging in anti-competitive practices that prevent publishers such as News Corp. Australia from competing on the merits,” the company said in a 144-page submission.
“These practices have the potential to profoundly damage the creation, distribution and consumption of news and journalism in Australia.”
Murdoch and other executives from the company, which also owns The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, have long led calls for Facebook and Google to “level the playing field” and pay news companies for their content.
But The Australian newspaper said the ACCC submission, by alleging market abuses by the two companies, “represents a dramatic escalation of hostilities.”
The group stopped short of demanding regulation of Facebook and Google, saying “current laws may be sufficient to deal with our concerns.”
“However, it may also be the case that some further legislative, regulatory and/or policy intervention or changes are required.”
Fairfax complained that its main mastheads had seen their advertising revenue fall from A$800 million ($600 million) in 1999 to just A$225 million ($169m) in 2017 as Google and Facebook gobbled up digital advertising dollars. As a result, the group has shed hundreds of jobs.
But it also stopped short of demanding new regulations, saying this should be “a last resort,” and argued instead for the digital platforms to work collaboratively on solutions for the news media.
Distancing itself from News Corp, Fairfax also opposed making platforms pay for news content, saying this would be “impractical” and post risks for editorial independence.
Australia’s main television broadcasters — Seven, Nine and Ten — demanded some combination of revenue sharing and tighter regulation of the tech companies’ advertising activities.
“The ACCC must intervene to ensure that the competition for advertising revenue is occurring in a fair and effective manner,” said the Ten Network, recently purchased by US broadcaster CBS.
In its own submission to the ACCC made public last month, Facebook opposed calls for tighter regulation, saying the rapidly changing digital landscape made the platforms “a challenging subject for regulatory intervention.”
“Consumers often have the most to gain from market disruptions caused by technological change and the most to lose from interventions that are designed to protect particular business models from the effects of those changes,” it said.
Google added in its submission that “changes in consumer and marketing behavior have profound implications for traditional news business models. But they do not mean the death of journalism.”
The competition commission is expected to publish a preliminary report in December, and a final report next year.


Argaam named ‘digital sponsor’ for Euromoney conference

Updated 17 September 2019

Argaam named ‘digital sponsor’ for Euromoney conference

  • Argaam provides a wide range of editorial and media services for companies and banks

Argaam will participate as a digital sponsor at the 14th edition of Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2019 to be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, under the patronage of Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Saudi minister of finance.

Organized by Euromoney International in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Finance, this year’s edition titled “Growing the New Financial Ecosystem” will focus on financial technology (fintech), as well as latest trends in the banking sector and capital market.

An exhibition will also be held on the sidelines of the conference, where several financial institutions and entities will showcase their products and services.

Being a digital sponsor, Argaam will set up an exclusive news studio at the heart of Euromoney, where it will host and conduct interviews with senior officials and executives in the finance and economic sectors to address latest developments prevailing across the Saudi market and economy.

Argaam is Saudi Arabia’s leading provider of financial data, news, and analysis on the Kingdom’s equity markets. It provides a wide range of editorial and media services for companies and banks, including real-time coverage on equities and macroeconomics in Saudi Arabia and the GCC. 

“Argaam is thrilled to invite you to visit its booth at Euromoney Saudi Arabia 2019 and explore a wide array of services provided to those interested in the Saudi and Gulf markets,” it said in a press release.

The two-day conference is one of the most important financial events in the region.

Organizers have introduced three new initiatives to create an even more interactive and informative experience for the participants, according to the conference website. The Euromoney Tech Tent will showcase regional and international fintech companies who are building the future of finance. The Euromoney Knowledge Hub will run 30-minute live briefings throughout the day — focusing on new developments in finance. Euromoney Amplify will run a live global markets simulation all through the conference — with participants being able to play the markets as either buy-side or sell-side institutions.