ACCC to consider sector-specific legislation as part of Digital Platforms Services Inquiry

The Australian Festival and Client Fee (ACCC) stated it is thinking about whether or not sector-specific legislation is essential to assist it deal with the contest and shopper issues in virtual platform markets, as a part of its ongoing Virtual Platform Products and services Inquiry.

“Even supposing the ACCC’s present powers beneath the Festival and Client Act 2010 let us take some enforcement motion in opposition to virtual platforms, we’re bearing in mind whether or not up entrance legislation could also be wanted along with enforcement beneath the prevailing CCA provisions to handle the contest and shopper issues our virtual platforms inquiries have recognized,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated on Friday, right through his speech at the yearly UniSA and ACCC Festival Regulation and Economics Workshop.

He defined that introducing sector-specific legislation would no longer be completely new, noting that Australia presented industry-specific regulation to the telecommunications sector relating to pageant and get admission to purposes, for example.

“If such legislation is located to be essential, we will be able to additionally believe how this legislation must be designed to handle the harms in a proportionate but efficient method,” Sims stated.

“Importantly, we will be able to search industry perspectives in this an important query, and we will be able to liaise carefully with the Commonwealth Treasury,” he added.

Sims additionally identified that in line with international trends in puts comparable to Japan, the EU, the United Kingdom, and america the place ex ante legislation of virtual platforms are being “hotly debated”, “present antitrust rules have no longer held up smartly to the demanding situations posed by means of virtual markets”.

Throughout his speech on Friday, Sims additionally touched at the want to deal with merger regulation reform and the want to turn out the long run in pageant instances.

“Merger regulate is significant to protective and selling pageant. It’s the gatekeeper, protective us from the unwanted side effects of will increase in focus,” he stated.

“If we’re desirous about protective pageant on this nation, we should be certain our merger regulate regime works as successfully as imaginable, and that it’s in step with global absolute best apply.”

Those suggestions shall be delivered as a part of the ACCC’s ultimate record for the Virtual Platform Products and services Inquiry, which is because of be dropped at the Treasurer in September 2022. An intervening time record used to be despatched to the Treasurer ultimate month, with that report back to be publicly launched within the coming weeks.  

The point of interest at the Virtual Platforms Products and services Inquiry comes as the contest watchdog not too long ago wrapped up its advert tech services and products inquiry, the place discovered Google has a dominant marketplace place with regards to the advert tech sector, which it stated has created “systemic pageant issues”.

Revealed as a part of its ultimate record [PDF] for its advert tech inquiry, the ACCC’s findings state that pageant for supplying advert tech services and products has grow to be useless because of Google’s dominant marketplace place.

“In 2020, we estimate that over 90% of advert impressions traded by means of the advert tech provide chain handed via no less than one Google provider. Google is by means of some distance the biggest provider of each and every key advert tech provider,” the record stated.

“Over greater than a decade, Google’s vertical integration and power in advert tech services and products has allowed it to interact in a spread of habits which has lessened pageant over the years and entrenched its dominant place.”

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