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Australia opens inquiry into digital platforms

Australia’s government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to start an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google. The ACCC’s inquiry will look at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets. “The ACCC goes into this inquiry with an open mind and will study how digital platforms such as Facebook and Google operate to fully understand their influence in Australia,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. “We will examine whether platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers. The ACCC will look closely at longer-term trends and the effect of technological change on competition in media and advertising. We will also consider the impact of information asymmetry between digital platform providers and advertisers and consumers. As the media sector evolves, there are growing concerns that digital platforms are affecting traditional media’s ability to fund the development of content. Through our inquiry, the ACCC will look closely at the impact of digital platforms on the level of choice and quality of news and content being produced by Australian journalists.” The ACCC is expected to produce a preliminary report by December 2018, with a final report due in June 2019. Further information, including the terms of reference, is here.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

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