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ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry


A new approach to regulation

  • A new access regime, administered by the ACCC, should be created under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to regulate digital platform providers who have a substantial degree of market power in the programmatic advertising market.

  • The access regime should require the provision of a transparent platform for the trading of programmatic advertising, with clear pricing ensuring that the platforms do not favour their own businesses in the supply chain.

  • The access regime should also give Australian media companies control over how their content is monetised on the digital platforms by ensuring that they set the price of advertising around their content and how that advertising is displayed.

  • The ACCC should be given the power to act as the arbitral body if platform owners (including news aggregators) and content creators are unable to agree reasonable commercial terms for the licensing of content, including snippets.

  • The access regime should mandate the use of software development kits in advertising products to allow genuine third-party measurement and verification of reach claims.

Principles-based approach to regulating algorithm outputs

  • ACMA should administer a Search and Social Code of Practice that establishes the principles that the digital platforms must abide by in writing their algorithms.

  • ACMA would register the Code only when satisfied that it met pre-defined principles including that rankings must be fair and impartial, and not discriminate against content that attracts a payment for its use.

  • News from Australian journalistic sources that meet a legislatively determined accreditation process should be clearly identified in search results and newsfeeds.

Support through other financial measures

  • A news production tax offset should be introduced to support the production of Australian news and journalistic content.

  • Other financial measures should also be supported such as tax deductibility for personal subscriptions and expanding the Regional and Small Publishers Fund.

Take meaningful action to address regulatory disparity

  • Action should be taken immediately to address the most obvious cases of regulatory disparity, including election blackout periods and outdated children’s content quotas.

An efficient and effective process for taking down illegal material

  • Subject to meeting minimum requirements, a Mandatory Standard should be introduced to enable effective and timely take-down of copyright-infringing content, supported by a strong enforcement regime and clearer authorisation infringement provisions.

  • The standard should require the proactive identification of illegal material, a quick an effective process for removing content and a process of remuneration for rights holders.

Transparency and control the key to data and privacy

  • The digital platforms should be required to be transparent in their data collection practices to enable consumers to provide their informed consent.

  • With an effective informed consent regime, the existing provisions of the Privacy Act are sufficient and additional levels of regulation should not be required.


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