Google and Facebook to push hard against proposal for regulatory body
We will continue to engage with the ACCC between now and the final report next year, said Google in a statement. But behind the scenes there is consternation about the ACCC’s proposal to set up a new regulatory body which would have the specific job of monitoring large digital platforms. Launching the report, ACCC chairman Rod Sims explained it considers the strong market position of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight. “Australian law does not prohibit a business from possessing significant market power or using its efficiencies or skills to ‘out compete’ its rivals. But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation,” he said. It would also look at whether the platforms were favouring their own businesses ahead of others – for example was Google ranking Google Shopping higher than competitor comparison sites? And it could look at the impact of vertical integration by the behemoths: buying up multiple platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, and getting involved in intermediation services, such as advertising and analytics.