(CTN News) – The South African Competition Commission (SACC) has announced that it will investigate whether digital platforms like Meta (META.O) and Google (GOOGL.O) use their content for the purpose of generating ad revenue that would unfairly compete with news publishers.
As part of its investigation, the Commission will be looking into a number of market features that may distort competition between news media organizations and digital platforms for advertising revenue and determining whether they are affected by imbalances in bargaining power between the two groups.
There is no doubt that the media industry faces a difficult time in the coming years due to the rapid shift to online news consumption, combined with the decline of traditional sources of funding for advertising in print and broadcast media,” Commissioner Doris Tshepe told journalists.
Acting Deputy Commissioner James Hodge, Chief Economist and Chief Economist for the Federal Communications Commission, stated that media consumers are increasingly relying on video-sharing platforms, news aggregators, and social media for news access and revenue, and it is important that diversity is promoted in journalism, especially in public interest news.
Among the companies under investigation are general search engines such as Alphabet’s Google and Bing, social media platforms such as Meta and X, news aggregation platforms, video sharing platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, and ad networks such as Google Ads.
According to the Commission, it will also look into the use of generative artificial intelligence, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and how it uses original news content in its output as a source of information as well as how it uses it to generate content.
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