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SA media owners to challenge Google and Meta at Competition Commission

South African media owners have joined forces to challenge Google and Meta to be compensated for their content used on these platforms. File picture

South African media owners have joined forces to challenge Google and Meta to be compensated for their content used on these platforms. File picture

Published Dec 4, 2021

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Cape Town – South African media owners have joined forces to challenge Google and Meta to be compensated for their content used on these platforms.

Industry association Publisher Support Services (PSS) made the announcement in a statement released on Saturday.

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“Globally, platforms like Google and Meta have been using publishers’ content at no cost to grow their market dominance,” CEO of Mail & Guardian Media and chairperson of the PSS, Hoosain Karjieker, said.

Karjieker said their objective was to get the companies to compensate publishers fairly and equitably for the journalistic efforts.

“We are making submissions on their behaviour in the local market to the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into online platforms in South Africa,” added Karjieker.

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He acknowledged the success achieved by similar efforts in other parts of the world, such as Australia and Europe, that forced these platforms to the negotiating table to have them agree on fair compensation to publishers for their content.

The Competition Commission launched its market inquiry into online platforms operating in South Africa in May this year, focusing on online intermediation services.

Karjieker invited other media organisations to participate in the initiative and make submissions to the inquiry.

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It is anticipated that submissions will be filed by January 2022 and the in-camera hearings are planned for February 2022. The inquiry is expected to release its findings and report by October 2022.

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