Due to the rapid growth of digital platforms in Australia, which now include the presence of large corporations including as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has requested that new competition legislation be put into effect immediately.
In its most recent report for the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the ACCC voiced concerns about the rising influence of these digital companies, emphasizing the greater risk of engaging in practices like invasive data collection and consumer-limiting rules.
As stated by ACCC Chairman Gina Cass-Gottlieb, “Our proposed reforms include a call for targeted consumer protections and service-specific codes to prevent anti-competitive conduct by particular designated digital platforms.”
Even while the ACCC could not find evidence of anti-competitive behavior explicitly, it did caution that digital platforms with significant market power may use tactics like product bundling, pre-installation, and default settings to limit consumer alternatives and stifle competitor innovation.
The ACCC also voiced worries about data collection methods, pointing out that these platforms’ expansion gives them access to a significant quantity of customer data. The poll found that privacy rules did not always make it clear whether the volume of data gathered exceeded what was necessary for improving the functionality of the gadget or the product.
What New Regulations Are in Store for Australia?
The regulator put up new necessary standards on all digital platforms to handle issues such as fraudulent reviews, dangerous malware, and frauds. These also include notification and action requirements, in addition to more stringent verification processes for corporate users and evaluations.
The ACCC also emphasized how emerging technologies like generative AI and virtual reality need changes to competition regulations. Earlier this year, the ACCC said that it will be investigating Australian providers for a period of five years in an effort to protect consumers and maintain fair competition in the rapidly changing digital platform service provider market.