The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) supported the country’s competition watchdog in calling for increased oversight of digital platforms and steps to bring them more fully into the nation’s regulatory framework for content.
ACMA proposed a new regulatory framework be developed that is principles-based, outcome focused, founded on a communications stack model and which allows for different regulatory approaches.
In December 2018 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proposed in a preliminary report a new or existing regulatory body be given the authority to monitor digital platforms such as Facebook and Google, to determine the impact their dominance has on the online search and advertising markets.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement that 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.”
ACMA noted the digital platforms have significant market power and influence, particularly regarding news and journalistic content, but are not fully considered within current media and communications regulation.
“There is an undeniable shift in public sentiment towards the view that digital platforms should do more to regulate their behaviour,” O’Loughlin said. “These platforms have the technological smarts to find ways to address such concerns. If they don’t, then consumers expect that government and regulators will step in.”
ACMA will “work closely with the ACCC and other relevant agencies in any new regulatory role”, she said.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back