Free TV Australia today welcomed the release of the ACCC’s Digital Platform Service Inquiry Regulatory Reform Report that recommends new codes of conduct to address the competition issues that arise from the conduct of the big tech platforms, together with enhanced consumer protections.
Free TV Australia chief executive Bridget Fair said: “We have consistently argued that the right approach to addressing the anti-competitive conduct of the digital platforms is through targeted mandatory codes of conduct.
“We are pleased that the ACCC has accepted this position and has now formally recommended to Government that binding codes be established to prohibit anti-competitive conduct.
In particular, Free TV welcomes the recommendations for codes of conduct that would address:
- Self-preferencing – the favourable treatment given to the platform’s own products and services, such as promoting YouTube content in Google search results, or app store operators favouring their own apps.
- Bundling and tying – consumers and businesses being forced to use the platform’s own apps and services instead of those offered by competitors.
- Data-related barriers to entry and expansion – the use of data by the platforms, collected through the provision of unrelated services, to gain an advantage in other markets such as targeted advertising and ad tech.
- Interoperability restrictions – preventing artificial competition barriers being created by tech giants by refusing to make their products and services interoperable with the products and services of their competitors.
- Imposition of unfair contract terms – the unfair contract terms imposed by platforms on businesses.
“This report puts Australia in step with international developments, such as in the EU, where legislation has already been introduced to modernise competition and consumer law in the face of the power and dominance of big tech platforms like Google, Meta and Apple.
“The fact is that the longer we take to get the necessary legislation in place to enact the ACCC’s recommendations, the harder reform will become as the tentacles of the dominant platforms continue to expand across the economy.
“We strongly support the findings of the ACCC that we cannot rely on our existing laws to promote competition and protect consumers in the face of digital platforms of the size, scale and complexity that we face today.
“We urge the Albanese Government to quickly move to implement the ACCC’s recommendations, through the development of the necessary legislation, to be followed quickly by the implementation of the required codes,” Ms Fair said.
Download a copy of the PDF here