Canberra

Australians want Google, Facebook crackdown: Comms Minister Paul Fletcher

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has warned leaving Facebook and Google unregulated is not sustainable and says the public expects the government to take action on the US-based digital behemoths for privacy breaches and abuses of market power.

The technology giants, which are used by the vast majority of the Australian public and generate billions of dollars in advertising revenue, should face the same regulations and restrictions as businesses that aren’t powered by the internet, Mr Fletcher told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in an interview this week.

The comments come after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned the social media and search behemoths to expect a strict response to tackle their market power as part of a world-first inquiry into the impact of the technology companies on traditional media outlets, advertising revenues and user privacy.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission handed its final report to the government on June 30 after an 18 month investigation. It has not yet been publicly released or shared with the digital platforms.with theage