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South Africa to Investigate Google and Meta for Possible Anti-Competitive Practices with the Media

South Africa’s Competition Commission is conducting an investigation into the practices of tech giants Meta and Google. The main focus of this investigation is to determine if there is any unfair competition with news publishers, specifically in relation to the use of their content for generating ad revenue.

The investigation will also examine market features that may distort competition for advertising revenue between news media companies and digital platforms such as Google and Meta. It aims to determine whether there are any imbalances in bargaining power that may be affecting these market dynamics.

Commissioner Doris Tshepe emphasized the significance of this inquiry, highlighting the rapid shift of news consumption from traditional sources to online platforms and the decline of funding for print and broadcast advertising. She also mentioned that media consumers are increasingly relying on video-sharing platforms.

Both Google and Meta have faced similar criticisms in the past. In fact, Google recently reached an agreement in Germany to make a substantial payment to publishers. Alongside the search engine giant and Meta, other platforms such as X, Bing, YouTube, TikTok, and Google Ads will also be investigated by South Africa’s Competition Commission.

This investigation is crucial in ensuring a fair playing field for news publishers and digital platforms, and it reflects the evolving landscape of the media industry. As the Phones Canada team, we will closely follow the developments of this investigation and provide updates accordingly.

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