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Publisher Support Services to challenge Google and Meta on content use

The industry association, the Publisher Support Services (PSS, formerly the PDMSA) has declared its intention to challenge Google and Meta (Facebook) to be compensated for their content used on these platforms.
Source: © Stanley Ng
Source: © Stanley Ng pexels
The initiative is led by the founder members of the PSS (Arena Holdings, Caxton, Independent Media, Mail & Guardian and Media24).

Explains Hoosain Karjieker, CEO of Mail & Guardian Media and chairperson of the PSS: “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 (the Commission) market inquiry into online platforms in South Africa.”

The 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.

Success in other parts of the world

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.

Karjieker invited other media organisations to participate. “Other publishers and media owners are welcome to join the efforts of PSS or independently make submissions to the inquiry.”

It is anticipated that submissions will be filed by January 2022 and the in-camera hearings are planned for February 2022. The inquiry is expected to release its findings and report by October 2022.

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