News Corp Australia called on the country’s competition regulator to implement a “bold solution” to internet giant Google's alleged “anti-competitive” practices in the journalism industry, including potentially breaking up the company.
The recommendation for Google Search to either be separated – or divested entirely – from the company’s other business units stemmed from claims that Google had “unparalleled power” over both publishers and advertisers. The News Corp unit said the search giant has created an “ecosystem” where its products allow it to collect large amounts of consumer data that give it an unfair advantage.
The suggestion was made in an 80-page filing submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which sought to provide remedies to directly address “the market power wielded by digital platforms” responsible for the “harm experienced by Australian publishers.”
Google was largely the focus of the filing, though Facebook was featured to a lesser extent.
Rupert Murdoch owns News Corp as well as 21st Century Fox, the parent company of FOX Business.
A spokesperson for Google did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.
News Corp acknowledged implementing a breakup of the search giant would be difficult, calling for global coordination toward the effort. It said Google had a history of "undermining regulatory initiatives."
Meanwhile, there are growing calls for antitrust action among the world’s biggest technology companies, including Google, from sources around the globe.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren – a declared contender for the U.S. presidency in 2020 – unveiled a plan last week to break up the country’s biggest technology companies, which she claims are consolidating power and crowding out the competition. She named Facebook and Amazon as possible targets.
President Trump also said he was “very seriously” considering taking antitrust action against Google, Facebook and Amazon during a November interview.
As noted by News Corp Australia, the European Commission is weighing the breakup of Google’s specialized search functions from its generalized ones.