The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has made the scrutiny of Facebook and Google its top priority for 2018. It will look into the misuse of their market power in commercial dealings, their impact on the “quality and choice of news” and the way they collect information form their users.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, in his annual address at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s conference, said “Concerns about the influence of digital platforms have become prominent in recent years, on very many fronts, and this inquiry is likely the first of its kind to explore broadly the competition and competition implications.”
He also added that the ACCC’s inquiry will investigate the issue by asking users to what extent they think the digital platforms know about them in comparison to what really happens as well as it would look at other large companies, although he declined to name any.
The inquiry was ordered by the federal government to honour the deal struck with then Senator Nick Xenophon last year in order to pass the media reform laws. A formal consultation will begin next Monday with the release of an Issues Paper and a preliminary report is due December 3, with a final report to be submitted by June 2, 2019.