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ACCC Ponder New Regulations For Big Tech

The ACCC is currently at the mid-point of the five-year Digital Platform Services Inquiry, and is using this milestone to consider whether there is a need for a new regulatory framework for the digital platform services markets, to address numerous competition and consumer concerns.

“The ACCC has growing concerns that enforcement under existing competition and consumer protection legislation, which by its nature takes a long time and is directed towards very specific issues, is insufficient to address the breadth of concerns arising in
relation to rapidly changing digital platform services,” a new report reads.

“In light of these concerns and given that this is the half-way point of the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the ACCC considers this is an appropriate time to assess whether Australia’s current competition and consumer protection laws, including merger laws, are sufficient to address the competition and consumer harms that have been identified in relation to digital platform services.”

ACCC doesn’t mince words in the report, saying: “A few large digital platforms now hold very powerful positions, increasingly acting as gatekeepers between businesses and end users.

“This position affords those platforms an immense influence on the terms of trade and competitive dynamics in these markets, as well as on society and the economy more broadly.”

The report is due to be provided to the Treasurer by 30 September 2022.

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