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ACCC Cracks Down On Mobile Apps In Landmark Inquiry

The ACCC is heavily cracking down on mobile app practises, with the latest phase of its five-year inquiry scrutinising data sharing, pricing transparency, and competition between Google and Apple app stores.

The watchdog will examine the experiences of Aussie consumers, developers and suppliers as part of a new report investigating mobile app stores. Feedback can be offered here.

“Apps have become essential tools for daily living for many Australian consumers, a trend that is likely to have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic,” states ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

“Apps are, in turn, increasingly important for businesses as they promote, grow and run their enterprises.”

The ACCC has sought to gather more real-life information about the local mobile app market, and will focus on the extent of competition between major app stores, plus how they compete for sales with other providers.

The news comes as apps continue to rapidly increase in volume and revenue generation, expanding across mobiles, tablets, smart watches and other connected home devices.

“For app developers and suppliers, gaining a spot in one of the major app stores can result in significant sales, while failing to gain access can be a major setback,” adds Ms Rickard.

“We are keen to provide greater transparency on how this process works.”

The ACCC is also interested in how mobile app data is used, and shared with the marketplace ecosystem – including data available to Google and Apple as operators.

It comes as app functionality continues to etch a long-standing practise in daily life, with capability including home security monitoring, entertainment, banking, fitness maintenance and more.

The ACCC’s five-year inquiry into markets for the supply of digital platform services in Australia follows direction from the Treasurer. The inquiry reports to the Treasurer every six months, with the latest installment following an investigation into online private messaging and search services.

Further information is available on the ACCC’s website here.

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