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META PLATFORMS, INC.

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Australia to raise possibility of more legislation on tech giants with new inquiry

11/30/2021 | 09:02pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is displayed behind a smartphone with the Facebook logo in this illustration picture

(Corrects typographical error in second paragraph)

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Wednesday announce a parliamentary inquiry into the behaviour of the world's largest technology companies and the need for new legislation. Australia has led global efforts to rein in the powers of the likes of Alphabet and Facebook, installing legislation that has been heralded as a model for others to copy.

Raising the possibility of additional regulation, Morrison will say on Wednesday that the new inquiry will have a wide scope, but will include asking the committee lawmakers to investigate the algorithms used by social media platforms, how the companies verify identification and age and the extent to which restrictions on these are being enforced.

"Big tech has big questions to answer," Morrison will say, according to extracts of his planned announcement, seen by Reuters. "Big tech created these platforms, they have a responsibility to ensure they're safe."

The announcement of a new inquiry is likely to stoke tensions between Australia's government and Facebook, which recently changed its name to Meta, and Google. Earlier this year Australia implemented tough new legislation that made both tech companies pay local media for content, while Canberra has proposed laws that would force them to share the identities of people with anonymous accounts if another person accuses them of defamation. When Australia proposed legislation forcing both companies to pay local media for news content, Google threatened to close its Australian search engine, while Facebook cut all third-party content from Australian accounts for more than a week. Both eventually struck deals with Australian media companies after a series of amendments to the legislation were offered.

The committee in charge of the new inquiry will report back its findings by Feb. 15, 2022.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Susan Fenton)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. 0.64% 2789.61 Delayed Quote.-3.71%
META PLATFORMS, INC. 1.66% 331.9 Delayed Quote.-1.32%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 118 B - -
Net income 2021 39 932 M - -
Net cash 2021 65 029 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 23,8x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 923 B 923 B -
EV / Sales 2021 7,29x
EV / Sales 2022 6,08x
Nbr of Employees 68 177
Free-Float 84,5%
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Number of Analysts 52
Last Close Price 331,90 $
Average target price 402,68 $
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Managers and Directors
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
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