The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proposed a new or existing regulatory body be given the authority to monitor Google and Facebook’s digital platforms to determine the impact their dominance has on the online search and advertising markets.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,”
In a preliminary report released today (10 December) the watchdog found Google had substantial market power in online search, search advertising and news referral; while Facebook had strong market power for social media, display advertising and online news referral.
The report outlines ACCC’s concerns about the market power held by the companies’ platforms, including their impact on Australian businesses and on the ability of media businesses to generate revenue from content.
It also raises concerns about the extent to which consumers’ data is collected and used to enable targeted advertising. The ACCC said the large amount and variety of data which digital platforms collect on Australian consumers goes beyond the data users actively provide when using the digital platform.
“The inquiry also uncovered some concerns that certain digital platforms have breached competition or consumer laws, and the ACCC is investigating five such allegations to determine if enforcement action is warranted,” Sims said.
In the report, the ACCC makes 11 preliminary recommendations and proposes eight areas for further analysis, which it said were put forward as potential options to address the actual and potential negative impacts of digital platforms, and contribute to the debate about the appropriate level of government oversight. The agency is accepting feedback on the report until 15 February 2019.
The recommendations come just days after the country passed a law requiring technology companies to give security agencies access to encrypted data.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back