Call to break up Google

Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOHN ROLFE

AUS­TRALIA’S com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog has been told to rec­om­mend Google be bro­ken up.

The call is in a sub­mis­sion by News Corp Aus­tralia to the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion’s dig­i­tal plat­forms inquiry.

It is be­lieved to be the first time a ma­jor me­dia com­pany any­where in the world has suggested Google be split into dif­fer­ent busi­nesses.

It comes as reg­u­la­tors and politi­cians around the globe look to the ACCC inquiry for ideas on how to grap­ple with Google’s grow­ing dom­i­nance.

The ACCC is ex­am­in­ing the im­pact of search en­gines, so­cial me­dia plat­forms and con­tent ag­gre­ga­tors “on the sup­ply of news and jour­nal­is­tic con­tent and the im­pli­ca­tions of this for me­dia con­tent cre­ators, ad­ver­tis­ers and con­sumers”.

Google has ar­gued it doesn’t harm com­pe­ti­tion be­cause con­tent is a click away.

News Corp’s sub­mis­sion says Google acts as the gate­way to the in­ter­net and news con­tent and as an “in­ter­me­di­a­tor” be­tween read­ers and pub­lish­ers, en­sur­ing rev­enue gen­er­a­tion for Google at the ex­pense of pub­lish­ers.

“Google’s prior con­duct sug­gests that more per­ma­nent and pos­si­bly struc­tural in­ter­ven­tions would bet­ter pre­serve the in­cen­tives for con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in jour­nal­ism,” News said. Google Aus­tralia said it would not com­ment be­fore see­ing the sub­mis­sion.

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