Australia mulls changes in media ownership laws

The Australian government is seeking to remove foreign ownership restrictions on Australian media companies as part of a radical shake-up of laws rendered out of date by the rapid advance of digital technology, the Associated Press quoted a recently released discussion paper as saying.


"There is a compelling case for change, and if the government does not act, then there is a genuine risk that Australia will become a dinosaur of the analogue age," the report quoted Communications Minister Helen Coonan as saying.


The report said current media laws barred foreign companies from controlling more than 15% of a television company and more than 25% of a newspaper publisher.


Under the proposed new framework, those restrictions would be eliminated, the report said, although foreign investment in Australia's media sector would require government approval.