• Australian Government reveals plans to police Google and Facebook
  • ACCC ‘Digital Platform Inquiry’ approved by the Government to regulate digital giants 
  • ACCC to oversee new code to address the power imbalance between platforms and media companies

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FAANG regulation Downunder: Australian government greenlights ACCC pitch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recommendations to regulate and address the impact of digital platforms like Facebook and Google has been welcomed by the Government.

The competition watchdog made 23 recommendations to reign in the two dominant technology titans to address the impact and market dominance in Australia from the Silicon Valley giants.

The Australian Government has adopted the key recommendation from the ACCC’s Digital Platform Inquiry with the aim to address the impact of digital platforms on Australian consumers and businesses.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the significance of the ACCC’s findings on the impact of the leading digital platforms on competition, consumer, privacy, media and advertising markets.”

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Australia will be one of the first countries in the world to develop a comprehensive roadmap for broad reforms relating to digital platforms.

The ACCC will continue its work in digital platform markets through the establishment of a permanent Digital Platforms Branch, to enable continuous and consistent scrutiny of digital platforms, as well as current and future consumer and competition law enforcement cases.

In addition, the ACCC will start a new inquiry into the digital advertising tech supply chain, focusing on digital display ads.

Sims added: “Google and Facebook have grown to have almost unfettered market power with significant impacts on consumers that must be addressed.”

As part of the Government’ response, it has tasked ACCC to oversee the development of a new code that will address the inherent power imbalance between platforms and media companies across the nation.

The Government’s announcement also sees it taking steps towards ensuring news media businesses and digital platforms operate on a more equal regulatory footing, and that local journalism is supported.

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ACCC findings and recommendations regarding the use of data and privacy protections also form part of the Government’s plans, which include steps to ensure consumers are adequately informed about how their data is collected and to provide consumers with greater control over how it is used.

Sims said: “The world is waking up to the very real harms that stem from the power the digital platforms hold in our society and for our economy,” Mr Sims said.

“The good news is it is not too late to ensure Australian businesses, consumers and society can benefit from the advances offered by digital platforms, while ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to address the negative impacts.”