CRA urges swift action following digital platforms inquiry

Former Assistant Editor
CRA CEO Joan Warner / Radio Alive Conference

Following the ACCC’s recent Digital Platforms Inquiry, Australia’s radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia has urged the government to swiftly adopt reforms.

As AdNews reports, the government responded to the inquiry by recognising a need for reform with regards to platforms like Google and Facebook to address the impact they have on Aussie business and journalism.

“Google and Facebook have grown to have almost unfettered market power with significant impacts on consumers that must be addressed,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

CRA chief executive Joan Warner welcomed the Government’s response that it intends to review the way the media is regulated in Australia.

“The Government has responded within their stated time frame, which is an encouraging sign of how seriously they are taking these issues and their intent to bring about change,” said Warner.

CRA reiterated the belief that commercial radio is overregulated. Warner said she hoped that a review of local content requirements and associated compliance, as it remains a burden on local radio stations.

“The industry is very pleased there will be concrete moves towards harmonisation of media regulation, as commercial radio remains one of the most overregulated platforms in the media and communications sector,” she said.

“We hope the “phased” approach does not mean we have to wait years for effective change nor will have to go through another round of inquiries and submission writing.”

“We also note the Government has specifically stated it will review Australian and children’s content requirements for free-to-air television services.

“We assume that the heavy local content requirements and associated compliance burden on local radio stations will also be part of any such review in the light of the Government’s stated wish to have a more harmonious and fair media regulation framework that can be applied across digital and traditional media.”

CRA also said it looks forward to the development of a practical and workable voluntary codes to address the “power imbalance”.

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