The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiated an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google.
At the request of the federal government, ACCC will look at the effect digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims (pictured) said: “The ACCC will study how digital platforms such as Facebook and Google operate to fully understand their influence in Australia.”
He said the agency 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,” Sims said: “We will also consider the impact of information asymmetry between digital platform providers and advertisers and consumers.”
Google and Facebook are expected to account for 84 per cent of global spending on digital advertising (excluding China) this year, multinational advertising and PR company WPP’s media buying agency GroupM forecast.
As the media sector evolves, Sims said there are growing concerns digital platforms are affecting traditional media’s ability to fund the development of content.
The ACCC is expected to produce a preliminary report by early December 2018, with a final report due early June 2019.