BBetween 2017-2019 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conducted a “world first” inquiry into digital platforms and their impact on media and advertising services markets. Its focus was Google and Facebook reflecting, their “influence, size and significance” in Australia. Concluding that these platforms have market power, the Final Report makes a raft of recommendations traversing competition, consumer, privacy, media, and broader public interest concerns. In the competition space, minor recommendations were made with respect to Australia’s merger laws and processes and a targeted recommendation is made that Google remove default search and browser preferences from Android devices. The Report also calls for the establishment of a specialist ACCC branch tasked with pro-active monitoring and enforcement and armed with compulsory information gathering powers to conduct market inquiries and make recommendations to government. Many of the Report’s recommendations call for further consultation, including the development of several “codes of conduct.” It is clear that the focus on addressing the rise of the digital platforms in Australia has only just begun.
Digital Platforms Inquiries are becoming so ubiquitous as to be almost pedestrian. Nevertheless, when announced in December 2017, the Australian Digital Platforms Inquiry (“DPI”) was touted as a “world first...