Major South African media owners have joined forces to deliver the opening gambit in challenging Google and Meta (Facebook) to be compensated for their content used on these platforms.
Hoosain Karjieker, CEO of Mail & Guardian Media and chairperson of Publisher Support Services (PSS), says: “Globally, platforms like Google and Meta have been using publishers’ content at no cost to grow their market dominance. Our objective is to get them to compensate us fairly and equitably for our journalistic efforts, hence we are making submissions on their behaviour in the local market to the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into online platforms in South Africa.”
Karjieker notes the success achieved by similar efforts in other parts of the world, most notably 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 (Commission) launched its market inquiry into online platforms operating in South Africa in May this year, focusing on online intermediation services. This includes the market dynamics and business practices that apply across the respective platforms operating in the country.
It is anticipated that submissions will be filed by January 2022 and in-camera hearings are planned for February 2022. The inquiry is expected to release its findings and report by October 2022.