CompCom Proposed that Meta Look into its News Content

A media think-tank based in South Africa has expressed concerns regarding Facebook’s move to discontinue publishing news content in select markets. CompCom proposed that Meta should look into its news content. This comes at a time when regulatory bodies across numerous nations are investigating Big Tech’s purportedly disproportionate profits from this type of content, which they distribute but do not produce themselves.

CompCom Proposed that Meta Look into its News Content

CompCom Proposed that Meta Look into its News Content

This point was brought up before the Competition Commission investigated competition in media and digital platforms in Pretoria on Tuesday by Michael Markovitz, a veteran of the media sector and former board director of the SABC. Markovitz also founded and serves as the director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s Media Leadership Think Tank.

Markovitz stated during a presentation: “It surely cannot be correct that a company with three to four billion users, after decades of unfairly benefiting from quality news content, just coincidently – as the regulatory heat starts rising across the globe – announces a unilateral opt-out of news content…”

His remarks come after Meta Platforms said last week that it would remove a Facebook tab that featured news from Australia and the US. Last year, the company made a similar decision in the UK, Germany, and France. This action is perceived as Meta’s response to recent laws in these areas requiring Big Tech firms to compensate news organizations for the use of their material.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters last week, “The idea that one company can profit from others’ investment, not just investment in capital but investment in people and investment in journalism is unfair.” This was in response to Meta’s decision. “That isn’t how we do things in Australia,” remarked Markovitz during a lecture.

Bargaining Techniques to Compete with Big Tech

Markovitz claims that lawmakers in South Africa will deal with a comparable issue about the enforceability of any corrective measures that may result from the Competition Commission’s investigation.

He asked the commission to investigate a way that will not only resolve issues in the South African context but also establish a standard for other countries in the “Global South” developing and underdeveloped nations, which he claimed may need to use collective bargaining techniques to compete with Big Tech.

Publishers in Canada filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta after the business used a similar action to remove news from Facebook. Because “Meta’s actions block the ability of news outlets to operate and trade on a platform that is owned by a hugely dominant player,” Markovitz encouraged the Competition Commission to look into that specific case further.

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