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Apple & Google Concerned With ACCC’s Proposal For Antitrust Reforms

 |  May 9, 2022

Apple and Google, and the Australian industry group advocating for tech giants have unsurprisingly raised concerns about the proposed measures that were outlined in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) discussion paper for the Digital Platforms Services inquiry.

In its discussion paper that was published in February, the country’s competition watchdog put forward a slew of legislative measures that took aim at big tech issues, including anti-competitive conduct, bargaining imbalances, insufficient consumer and business user protections, and more.

In response to those proposals, Apple expressed its discontent, describing in its submission that the proposed reforms would result in Australian consumers being “net worse off” and that it is “puzzled” about why the agency would “prioritise purported competition concerns”, which it believes “lack cogent evidence of harm, over clear and present severe damage to users that they experience every day”.

“That is not what consumers want to see as outcomes of legislative reform — they want stronger, not weaker, protection — from the unlawful conduct which affects the hundreds of thousands of Australians every year whose information is stolen, scammed, traded and exploited to their detriment,” Apple wrote.

The Cupertino company also criticised the ACCC’s reforms as being directed at addressing hypothetical, rather than existing problems, and that the changes would “regrettably” change iPhone and other Apple services, including iOS and the App Store, and result in changes to Apple’s privacy and security standards and leave existing users exposed to less secure and private environments.

“Much of the discussion paper appears to proceed on the assumption that there is a relevant market failure arising from Apple’s purported market power,” Apple said.

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