TECH US technology giants to face stricter curbs in Australia: Aussie Treasurer

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US technology giants to face stricter curbs in Australia: Aussie Treasurer

Xinhua

10:16, July 08, 2019

CANBERRA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned technology giants such as Google and Facebook to expect restrictions on their market power.

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(Photo: VCG)

Frydenberg told Fairfax Media on Sunday night that there are "genuine competition issues" in the digital advertising market to address with the growing power of the internet.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) handed a report on the impact of Google and Facebook's market dominance on traditional media companies to the government earlier in July.

The report has not yet been made public but Frydenberg's comments indicate that the government is planning to curb the power of the US tech giants.

"There are also issues around privacy, about the collection of data and how it's used," he told Fairfax.

"And it's clear that the social media companies, and online search engines, are only going to grow over time as the economy becomes more digitalized and the internet even more dominant in commerce.

"There are genuine competition issues to look at."

According to the ACCC, 68 percent of Australians visit Facebook every month. Approximately 90 percent of internet searches from computers are on Google and 98 percent from mobile devices.

Between them Google and Facebook receive 68 percent of 8 billion Australian dollars (about 5.5 billion US dollars) spent on digital advertising in the country every year.

However, the two companies had a combined corporate tax bill of only 38.3 million Australian dollars (26.7 million US dollars) in the calendar year of 2018.

Asked if the companies paid enough tax, Frydenberg said that "our goal is to ensure all companies pay their fair share of tax."

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