ACCC seeks feedback on potential rules for large digital platforms

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking feedback on the dominance of digital platforms from consumers, businesses and other parties.

One of the topics, as explored in a discussion paper published today, is the role large digital platforms have in the ad tech space. The paper outlines several potential reforms, but the ACCC has not determined which it will recommend, including an option to recommend none of them.

In a statement, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said: “These platforms hold powerful positions in the economy and society and can often dictate terms to businesses that use their services. This in turn can harm consumers and the small businesses that rely on them, including through higher prices, greater use of personal data, reduced choice, less innovation or lower quality products.”

Sims continued: “The upcoming fifth report will mark the half-way point of the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. Now is the time to consider whether further reforms are needed to supplement the important tools in Australia’s competition and consumer law to maintain a vibrant digital economy that drives innovation and enhances productivity.

“There is momentum building internationally, with authorities and lawmakers around the world taking action to address the competition and consumer harms arising on digital platforms.”

One of the potential reforms explored is increased access to data for rivals, improved consumer protection, fairer dealings with business users and increased transparency.

“Since the ACCC began examining digital platform services in 2017,” said Sims, “large digital platforms such as Google, Apple and Meta (Facebook) have continued to grow and expand their impact and influence on the economy and our day-to-day lives.

“It is clear that large digital platforms are often protected by high barriers to entry and expansion, and in some cases, they have become ‘gatekeepers’, acting as critical intermediaries between businesses and consumers, and controlling access to consumers.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.