Latest Development in Digital Platforms Regulation

On 10 February 2020, the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, issued the Competition and Consumer (Price Inquiry – Digital Advertising Services) Direction 2020 (Direction). The Direction authorises the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into the supply of digital platform services.

The Digital Platforms Services Inquiry (Inquiry) will require the ACCC to issue interim reports on its findings every six months, with the first interim report to be issued in September 2020.  The final report will be provided to the Treasurer on 21 March 2025.

Scope of Inquiry

The Direction has restricted the inquiry to considering:

  • The intensity of competition in the markets for the supply of digital platform services, particularly considering the concentration of power in the markets, the behaviour of suppliers, changes in the range of services offered by suppliers and, mergers and acquisitions in the markets for digital platform services.
  • The practices of individuals suppliers in the markets for digital platform services which may result in consumer harm.
  • Market trends which may affect the degree of market power held by suppliers of digital platform services as well as changes to the nature of, characteristics and quality of digital platform services.
  • Developments in markets for the supply of digital platform service outside Australia.

Exclusions

The Direction made mention that the scope of the Inquiry should not consider the supply of goods of services to a state or territory, review the operation of any laws other than the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), review the operation of any Commonwealth funded programs or consider the supply of creative input for advertising.

What does the mean for businesses?

If you are a business that operates in the digital platforms space, the inquiry may likely cause scrutiny on your activities, particularly those involved with advertising and the collection of personal information.

There are likely to be wider implications for all businesses as regulation of Consumer and Privacy law landscape tightens and changes. Gladwin Legal will provide updates on this matter as they arise.

Gladwin Legal are experts in privacy law and consumer and competition law and can assist in ensuring that you are complying with the new privacy laws as they happen. If you would like to know how we can help, please do not hesitate to contact us at rosalyn@gladwinlegal.com.au or give us a call on 1300 033 934 for a no obligation quote.