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ACCC Seeks New Powers To Curb Tech Sector

The Chair of ACCC, Rod Sims, wants the watchdog to have more regulatory powers in order to keep the tech giants in line, and to stave off into anti-competitive behaviour.

In a speech to the Annual Competition Law & Economics Workshop, Sims called for changes to the Competition and Consumer Act.

“Although the ACCC’s existing powers under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 allow us to take some enforcement action against digital platforms, we are considering whether upfront regulation may be needed in addition to enforcement under the existing CCA provisions to address the competition and consumer concerns our digital platforms inquiries have identified,” Sims said.

“Sector-specific regulation is not without precedent. Australia has introduced industry specific legislation before where it is needed rather than rely solely on enforcement of the economy wide competition law provisions.

“For example, the ACCC already administers industry-specific competition and access functions in relation to the telecommunications sector.”

The ACCC is currently in the midst of a five-year digital platform inquiry, and will provide advice to the Treasurer in a report due September 2022.

“The key questions we face are how effectively is our competition law working to ensure our market economy is working for all Australians, and is there a need for significant change,” Sim concluded.

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