The Australia Institute has welcomed the Australian Government’s response to the ACCC Digital Platform Services inquiry’s fifth interim report.
The Government has accepted in principle all four of the ACCC’s recommendations:
- Economy-wide prohibition on unfair trading practices, and strengthening unfair contract terms laws.
- Targeted protections for digital users, including mandatory processes to prevent and remove scams, harmful apps and fake reviews; mandatory internal dispute resolution standards, including the ability to escalate to a human representative; and an independent external ombudsman.
- Additional competition measures for digital platforms, including the power to make mandatory codes of conduct for designated digital platforms.
- Targeted competition obligations, including addressing anti-competitive self-preferencing, anti-competitive tying, impediments to consumer switching, impediments to interoperability and data-related barriers to entry and expansion.
“Search engines like Google, social media networks like Facebook and video sharing sites like YouTube exercise enormous control over what Australians get to see and hear, with relatively little competition or regulation,” says Bill Browne, Director of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.
“The ACCC has suggested sensible, well-grounded changes to the law that would help protect Australians from online scams, abuse and harassment – and the Albanese Government should be commended for agreeing with them in principle. The next step is to make them happen.”
“Australia has proven it can take on the tech giants and win with its news media bargaining code which forces Google and Facebook to pay for news. Australia Institute research finds that journalist job ad numbers are up following the code’s introduction.”