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ACCC Back New Google, Facebook Publisher Code

ACCC Commissioner, Rod Sims, has called for digital tech platforms (such as Facebook and Google) to be regulated similar to traditional media publishers – levelling the playing field.

Speaking to Sky News Australia’s Business WeekendSims claims Google and Facebook should submit to similar laws as traditional publishers and broadcasters.

“In many ways they are publishers and so we have to make sure we break that distinction that’s been there before,” he said this morning.

“They should be regulated in a very similar way to traditional media and in many senses, they are publishers.”

The news follows the release of the ACCC’s landmark Digital Platforms Inquiry report, released Friday morning.

The historic report slammed tech giants (notably Facebook and Google) for distorting the local market, impairing several businesses from competing “on their merits.”

Disclosed in a hotly anticipated 600-page report, findings analyse the affect of digital tech giants on competitiveness, news accuracy, consumer data privacy plus more.

The ‘world-first inquiry’ is closely watched by international regulators, and is tipped to have a ripple-effect globally.

Speaking to Business WeekendMr Sims claims the ACCC is capable of following through its reported recommendations as a regulator – including a new division which enforce specific conduct on Google and Facebook.

“We definitely need a dedicated unit, and have no doubt we’ve got the mettle.”

The news comes as several market commentators and politicians assert digital tech platforms are unlikely to minimise ‘fake news’ without government involvement – citing profit over public interest.

One of the ACCC’s 23 recommendations asks Google and Facebook to share revenue from journalism with traditional media, and also be fined for spreading fake news.

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