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Google and Facebook defend role in media amid ACCC probe

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Staff Writer | April 23, 2018
Facebook and Google have defended their role in the publishing landscape as "helping" traditional media companies in a competitive online environment, as Australia's wide-reaching probe into the impacts of the digital giants continues.
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Technology   The impacts of the digital giants
Google's 13-page submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry, released on Monday, said it sends news websites "billions of visits" in traffic for "free", and helps publications monetise audiences through its technology and tools.

Providing "help" to media companies is in the search engine's best interest, the submission claims, as quality content is "complementary" to finding the best information.

Facebook's 56-page submission, with an accompanying 23-page commissioned report from Queensland University of Technology, put emphasis on the competition social media platforms face as "barriers to entry for online services are low" and says many companies can collect data, including newspapers.

Facebook's News Feed is less than 5 per cent news, Facebook claims, and is a"free platform for global content distribution and promotion".

Facebook has been engulfed by a privacy scandal over the past month after it admitted that data from millions of users (including as many as 310,000 Australians) was harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy employed by the Trump campaign in the 2016 US elections.


 

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