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Israel's anti-trust regulator to look at internet giants

Reuters  |  JERUSALEM 

By Lubell

(Reuters) - Israel's anti-regulator said it will look at the business practices of giants such as and to make sure they are not stifling competition.

"We will look closely at the activity of the giants to see whether they are abusing their power and breaching the Anti-Authority's rules," the of the authority, Michal Halperin, told parliament's

"The big companies, such as and have a sufficient presence in in terms of anti-laws ... the law applies to them even if they are not registered in Israel," Halperin said.

The authority would examine whether such companies were misusing their advantages in order to push other players out and monopolise the market, she said.

Representatives for and who were at the meeting said they were law abiding and provided a platform for Israeli businesses to thrive.

As in other countries, Israel's traditional faces a crisis in the digital age as advertising shrinks and revenues fall.

and take an estimated 80 percent of advertising revenues in of between 1.5 billion shekel and 1.7 billion shekels ($436 mln-$494 mln) a year.

"The problems in the Israeli did not start with Google," Noa Elefant, Google's of public policy in Israel, told the meeting.

Halperin told she expected the regulator to complete its work in 2018.

In November the of said was joining efforts by the and several countries to get the giants to pay more tax.

Corporate taxation has become a hot topic in the wake of revelations of tax avoidance schemes by multinationals, leading to calls for companies to pay more tax.

said in December it would start booking locally instead of re-routing it via its international headquarters in

"We'll pay tax in for revenue that comes from Israel," said Jordana Cutler, of policy and communications at Israel, without elaborating.

($1 = 3.4388 shekels)

(Reporting by Lubell; Editing by Susan Fenton)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 19:14 IST