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ACCC releases issue paper on expanding digital platform ecosystems

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will be examining the expansion of digital platform ecosystems in Australia as part of its Digital Platform Services Inquiry.

The ACCC has released an issues paper and identified several areas of concern, including the use of data by digital platforms, the impact of digital platforms on competition in media and advertising markets, and the potential for digital platforms to engage in self-preferencing, as well as conduct such as bundling, tying, self-preferencing and pre-installation arrangements. The ACCC is also concerned with the investment decisions and expansion strategies being made by digital platforms and the growing interconnectedness between products and services in each ecosystem.

The ACCC has stated that it will be examining these issues in detail over the coming months and prepare an interim report. The examination will include consultations with stakeholders, such as key players like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta (Facebook), businesses, consumers, and industry experts. Through first party knowledge, the ACCC is hoping to better understand the impact of expansion into elements such as cloud storage and smart home devices and the impact this may have on competition and consumers.

The ACCC’s examination of digital platform ecosystems is part of a broader effort to promote competition and protect consumers in Australia’s digital economy and align with global regulators in managing the dominance and power of digital platforms.

Interested parties may make submissions to the ACCC by 5 April 2023.

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