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Hotwire Headlines #50

Hotwire Australia

The Australian media industry sees new launches, acquisitions and regulatory rulings

In recent news, Facebook rebrands, News Corp Australia launches a new digital and print magazine, and Seven West Media announces it is set to acquire Prime Media.

Facebook rebrands to Meta

Social media giant Facebook is changing its name to Meta, a reference to the digital world metaverse using augmented reality tools.

Zuckerberg sees the metverse as a big commercial opportunity, a new world to sell things to virtual people in a virtual world. And it’s a big play. In 2021, he expects investments in Facebook Reality Labs to reduce overall operating profit by about $US10 billion.

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ACCC authorises CRA’s negotiation with Meta and Google

Following authorisation from the ACCC, commercial radio broadcasting industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) can negotiate with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and Google over payment for its member’s stations’ news content.

The ACCC’s final determination gives CRA a period of ten years to collectively negotiate on behalf of all of its members, other than stations operated by Nine Entertainment Co. The ACCC made a similar authorisation to the Country Press Association in August this year.

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ACCC calls for more choice in Internet search browsers

The regulatory watchdog’s latest Digital Platform Services Inquiry report highlights the dominance of Google in the search engine market and recommends measures to bolster choice

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is calling for search engine choice screens to be introduced in an attempt to kerb Google’s dominance of the search engine market.

The regulatory watchdog made the recommendation in the latest of its Digital Platform Services Inquiry Reports, released this week and focused on competition across Australia’s search engine market. It’s one of a number of areas being investigated as part of a five-year inquiry into the supply of digital platform services in Australia kicked off in 2020 by the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Branch.

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News Corp Australia Launches New Magazine Own the Weekend

News Corp Australia has unveiled a new magazine in its four state-based Saturday mastheads, representing a major extension of its “Own The Weekend” strategy for audiences and clients by creating a new and powerful digital and print platform for advertisers in Australian media.

The magazines, based on the successful and longstanding QWeekend in The Courier Mail and The Advertiser’s SA Weekend, which will retain their titles, will be refreshed in both states and also extended for the first time to the Herald Sun and The Saturday Telegraph, where it will be called VWeekend and Sydney Weekend.

They will feature in-depth news reads about the biggest stories in each state, human interest stories and profile interviews, as well as practical tips on how to make the most of your weekend, including food and travel, books, tech, fashion and local events.

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Seven Set to Acquire Prime Media

Seven West Media has announced that it has entered into a conditional share sale agreement to acquire all the business and related assets of Prime Media Group via the acquisition of Prime Television (Holdings) Pty Ltd, Seven Affiliate Sales Pty Ltd and all their subsidiaries.

As a sale of a main undertaking for ASX Listing Rules purposes, the acquisition will be subject to a vote of the PRT shareholders to be held in December 2021.

Seven strongly believes in the rationale of a combined SWM-PRT Business, which will create the leading wholly-owned commercial premium broadcast, video and news network in the Australian media landscape, reaching more than 90% of the Australian population every month.

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