ACCC commences inquiry into Facebook and Google

Under direction from the Federal Government, the ACCC is commencing an inquiry today into digital platform providers such as Google and Facebook.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry will examine the effect that digital search engines, social platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets.

“We will examine whether platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers,” says ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

The ACCC will look closely at the longer-term trends and the effect of technological change on competition in media and advertising. “We will also consider the impact of information asymmetry between digital platform providers and advertisers and consumers,” adds Sims.

As advertisers spend less on traditional media and find alternative ways of reaching target audiences, the ACCC is concerned that digital platforms are affecting the traditional media’s ability to fund the development of content.

“Through our inquiry, the ACCC will look closely at the impact of digital platforms on the level of choice and quality of news and content being produced by Australian journalists,” says Sims.

A preliminary report is expected for December 2018, with a final report due in June 2019. Marketing expects the rapidly changing landscape of social media and digital platforms to shift significantly during the lengthy course of this inquiry.

 

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Ben Ice
BY Ben Ice ON 4 December 2017