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Digital Platforms, Competition and Consumers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be looking at the competition practices of digital platforms. ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, told the International Institute of Communications’ Telecommunications and Media forum that the impact of these digital platforms is a ‘vital issue’. “It is clear that we need to look at the digital platforms through both a competition and consumer lens. Our experience as a competition and consumer regulator, and as a communication and general infrastructure regulator…means we have the right tools to complete this huge and fascinating task,” Sims said. The Inquiry, which began last year December, will examine four key areas:

  • Use of market power by digital platforms and whether it is being used to the detriment of the consumer;

  • Are platforms sufficiently transparent about their data collection on consumers and whether they complying with the Australian consumer Law (ACL);

  • Whether digital platforms have an unfair competitive advantage; and

  • The impact that digital platforms have on the quality of the news in Australia.

“It is important that governments examine the role digital platforms are playing in society and, as with other companies, determine if polices are needed to curb their pursuit of profit, given the problems such pursuits will cause.”

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