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ACCC seeks public input on digital platform services reforms

ACCC seeks public input on digital platform services reforms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its fifth discussion paper into the Digital Platform Services Inquiry and is seeking public feedback on new regulatory tools to address competition and consumer issues relating to digital platform services.

The discussion paper marks the midway point into the investigation into digital platforms since late 2017. As this process is designed to be public, the ACCC is reaching out to stakeholders, businesses, and consumers for additional feedback into the investigation into digital platforms. Since social media users will be the primary parties affected by digital platform services reforms, it is only fair that they have some sort of input into how the legislative reform will take shape.

The discussion paper builds on top of the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry and Digital Platforms Inquiry 2017-2019 to develop a regulatory framework that protects consumer welfare and increases competition in the online space. The ACCC is seeking feedback on whether stronger anti-competitive tools should be introduced to prevent the gatekeeping of digital platforms. This relates to:

  • search engine optimisation
  • barriers to entry, particularly relating to data access
  • bargaining power imbalances, and
  • business protection.

Additionally, the discussion paper proposes measures to improve consumer user protection. This may be through obligations that require digital platforms to remove online scams and other exploitative or manipulative user interfaces. The ACCC is also observing international developments in the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, and Asia Pacific region on how to align Australia with international standards.

Businesses, stakeholders, and consumers may make written submissions to the ACCC regarding the discussion paper up until 1 April 2022.

For the full reading of the inquiry, see here.

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