The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is responsible for monitoring and responding to complaints about control and ownership arrangements of the Australian media.
If the ACMA begins an investigation, it has wide-ranging powers under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) to obtain information. These include powers to require the production of documents, to examine witnesses under oath, and to hold public hearings.
Breaches of control and ownership rules
If the ACMA is satisfied you have breached any rules of statutory control, media diversity or directorships (Part 5, Division 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the BSA), the ACMA will direct you to remedy the breach within a specified time period. Depending on the circumstances of the breach, the period can be one month, six months, one year or two years.
You can apply for an extension of time to remedy the breach three months before the end of the specified period. You cannot apply for an extension if the period specified in the notice was one month. The ACMA must decide to grant or refuse your extension within 45 days of receiving your application or (if requested by the ACMA) after receiving further information from you.
Failure to comply with notices issued under section 70 is an offence under section 72 of the BSA.
For reports of investigations conducted by the ACMA see Ownership & control investigation reports.
On 16 October 2017 the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was passed by Parliament. Following Royal Assent, a number of changes to media control and diversity rules in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 will take place. Please refer to the ACMA Media Statement for additional information.
The ACMA website will be updated to reflect these changes once the Bill receives Royal Assent.