Silva adds though that some require further analysis on the associated costs and benefits. She said two recommendations are of particular concern, specifically changes to Android defaults and aspects of the proposed publisher code:
Firstly, the recommendation to directly intervene in the Android operating system does not take into account Australian market conditions and competition laws, and provides no justification for focusing on Android when Apple’s iOS is the most-used mobile operating system in Australia (as noted in the Final Report) and Microsoft’s Windows remains the most-used PC-based operating system.
Secondly, the proposal for regulator-sanctioned negotiation of revenue sharing between platforms and news publishers – as part of the code contemplated by Recommendation 7 – overlooks existing commercial arrangements between Google and Australian news publishers and the broader value that Google provides through referred web traffic and technology.
In total in 2018, Google sent more than 2 billion clicks to Australian news publishers from Australian users, and more than 1 billion additional clicks to Australian news publishers from users globally. Our Google News Initiative supports news publishers of all sizes to develop, test and implement innovative approaches to drive revenue for publishers and support greater media literacy among consumers. Recently we made ranking updates and published changes to our search rater guidelines to help better recognise original reporting and surface it more prominently in Search.
Read Melanie Silva’s commentary here.
Top photo: Melanie Silva from Google