Murdoch's News Corporation calls for Google breakup

  • Murdoch's News Corporation calls for Google breakup

Murdoch's News Corporation calls for Google breakup

In an 80-page submission largely centered on Google, News Corp Australia said the U.S. company had created an "ecosystem" where it could control the results of people's internet searches and then charge advertisers based on how many people viewed their advertisements, Reuters reports.

The Australian arm of News Corp, the media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, has called for an enforced break-up of Google, saying the internet behemoth wields too much power that is detrimental to the interests of news publishers.

The recommendation for Google Search to either be separated - or divested entirely - from the company's other business units stemmed from claims that Google had "unparalleled power" over both publishers and advertisers. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

The regulator's December report contained 11 preliminary recommendations, including preventing Google's internet browser Chrome from being installed as a default app on mobile devices, computers and tablets and preventing Google's search engine from being installed as the default on internet browsers.

ACCC chairman, Rob Sims, said he was looking at the submission "with an open mind".

"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.

News Corp also backed the ACCC's recommendation, made in its preliminary report, to regulate news and advertising in the digital sphere.

News Corp also suggested the creation of a digital platforms unit within the ACCC, to accumulate the necessary knowledge to monitor competition among digital platforms and respond to concerns voiced by consumers, publishers or advertisers.

"Market intervention is therefore required to separate the dominant ad tech functions in order to create more choice and thereby restore competition in the supply of digital advertising", says News Corp's submission.

On Tuesday, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released figures for online advertising in the country, showing that the spend had grown to $8.8 billion in 2018. In a statement announcing the policy, she said that these companies use their market power to "squash small businesses and innovation".

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.

"Any solution must be bold", the company said in its submission. The competition authority's final report on its digital platforms inquiry is due to be published on June 3rd, 2019.

"For example, improving consumers' news literacy shifts the burden to consumers and does not address the underlying cause of harm (ie, digital platforms' market power)", it said.