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Google pushes back against competition concerns in Australia

Google pushes back against competition concerns in Australia

Google has rejected calls by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for tougher scrutiny of its operations, denying that it enjoys market power in online searches and advertising, Reuters reports. The global giant was responding to recommendations made late last year by the watchdog, such as increased scrutiny and a new regulatory body to monitor the dominance of tech giants in online advertising and news markets. “The preliminary report bases many of its recommendations on the mistaken premise that Google has market power in search, search advertising and news media referrals,” Google wrote in a statement published by the regulator. “Google faces fierce competition from other providers, including vertical search sites like Amazon, Expedia, Domain and Carsales.com, many of which users access directly through mobile apps.” The regulator had said the enormous market power of firms such as Google, which has a 94% share of web searches in Australia, and their opaque methods for ranking advertisements, gave them the ability and incentive to favour their businesses over advertisers. In preliminary recommendations that are subject to change, the ACCC also said the new regulator should have powers to investigate how the companies rank advertisements and news articles. Google rejected such a measure as unnecessary. It said the regulator had provided no evidence that regulatory review of Google's algorithms and potential recommendations for more disclosure about its news ranking would lead to higher quality search results. Meanwhile the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has supported the ACCC in calling for increased oversight of digital platforms and steps to bring them more fully into the nation’s regulatory framework for content, notes Mobile World Live. ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement that the ACCC “has made a clear case for bringing digital platforms into the regulatory framework for content delivery”. She added: “We also consider that a single regulatory framework for content delivered across any platform should have oversight by a single content regulator, in consultation with local and international regulators.” See more and here

  • Monday, 18 March 2019

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