News details social threat to newsmedia industry

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News Corp Australia has warned of the threat of "unsavoury online environments" in its submission to the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms.

The submission released today details the effects of a range of anti-competitive behaviours of digital platforms, with a focus on Google, Facebook and Apple.

It says the practices are damaging the creation, distribution and consumption of news and journalism in Australia and undermining publishers' advertising business models.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller says the inquiry was "a world-first" of fundamental importance to the media industry's future.

"For too long, platforms have avoided accountability for their actions in stark contrast to publishers committed to serving and investing in local communities in an ethical manner," he said.

"The platforms built their dominance as the gatekeepers to the internet, offering consumers free services, but as our submission shows, the cost to competition and consumers is substantial.

"For consumers, these costs include reducing access to a diversity of original journalism, promoting unreliable content and echo chambers, and intrusively collecting personal data; and for publishers, digital platforms are undermining our efforts to develop new advertising and subscription models and preventing us from competing on the merits.

"These platforms are also dominating digital advertising to such an extent that advertisers have less choice and face higher prices and can find their brands presented in unsafe, unsavoury online environments.

"Few issues are more important to our industry."

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