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ACCC doubles down on digital platforms

 |  July 29, 2019

By Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, University of Melbourne

The final report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on its Digital Platforms Inquiry was released by the government late last week.

The Inquiry concerned “the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms have on competition in media and advertising services markets.”

Central to the ACCC’s inquiry were the questions: Do Google and Facebook hold substantial power in crucial digital markets and does this pose a risk to competitive processes?

In its final report released by the government, the ACCC correctly answered both questions with a resounding “yes”.

The ACCC did not set out to determine whether either company had broken the competition rules. That can only be determined in an investigation of specific conduct based on specific facts and evidence.

Taking on big tech: Where does Australia stand?

There is at least one such investigation under way and signs are that more will follow.

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