On 11 November the ACCC released the most important report to date under its Digital Platform Services Inquiry, calling for new competition and consumer protection laws for digital platforms.
While digital platform services provide substantial benefits to Australian consumers, the ACCC has determined these services result in many consumer harms, including through extensive scam activity and intrusive data collection practices. In addition, the ACCC has highlighted the anticompetitive behaviour of the largest digital platforms, such as preferencing their own services at the expense of competitors.
The ACCC has used its existing regulatory powers to take enforcement action against the largest platforms, for example, it has successfully taken Federal Court proceedings against Google in relation to its misleading data collection practices. Proceedings have also been commenced against Meta, in relation to scam crypto-currency advertising. Nonetheless, the ACCC believes that the significant harms it has identified cannot be addressed under Australia’s existing competition and consumer protection laws and new regulatory powers are needed.
The Government has announced that it will consult on the recommendations from the ACCC in the short term, meaning any reforms would be likely to take effect in 2023.
To hear more, listen to partner Angela Flannery here.
Author: Angela Flannery
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