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AustraliaInquiry into digital platforms

ACCC

About this Review

Binary codeAs part of the deal to get the media law reforms through through the Senate in September, the government agreed to an inquiry into Google and Facebook and other digital platforms.

The Government has now directed the ACCC to commence this inquiry, which will look at the effect 'digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets'.

An issues paper was released on 26 February 2018 with submissions due by 3 April; submissions were pubished in May. Public external engagement will take place throughout May-August and a preliminary report was submitted 3 December 2018 and published on 10 December 2018. The final report due to the Treasurer six months later, on 3 June 2019.

 

Final Report

30 June 2019

(extended; originally due 3 June 2019)

 

Preliminary Report

To Government: 3 December 2018. Published: 10 December 2018

A media conference was held at 12:30 on 10 December and livestreamed here and here.

Preliminary recommendations

The Preliminary report contains 11 preliminary recommendations (reproduced from 'Preliminary recommendations' section of Preliminary Report commending page 9):

Measures to address Google and Facebook’s market power

The value of digital platforms to users and the lack of close alternatives has afforded both Google and Facebook substantial market power.

The ACCC considers that Google has substantial market power in supplying general search services (with a current market share of approximately 95 per cent) and appears likely to retain its dominant share at least in the short to medium term. This substantial market power has been extended to the supply of online search advertising and the supply of news referral services to news media businesses.

The ACCC also considers that Facebook has substantial market power in supplying social media services in Australia via its Facebook and Instagram platforms. In addition, the ACCC considers that Facebook also has substantial market power in display advertising and the supply of news referral services to news media businesses.

While dynamic competition may place some degree of competitive constraint on Google and Facebook, the ACCC considers that this constraint is likely to be weak due to the size of the barriers to entry and expansion (including the value of accumulating data on users, which includes, but is not limited to, data on their use of the platform). The ACCC is also of the preliminary view that Google’s position as the current default search engine on the major browsers underpins its market power.

The ACCC has reached the preliminary view that strategic acquisitions by both Google and Facebook have contributed to the market power they currently hold.

The aim of the preliminary recommendations below is to remove some of the potential impediments to the growth and independence of potential competitors that may challenge that market power by:

  • strengthening merger laws and processes
  • promoting consumer choice by addressing the barriers caused by the pre-installation or establishment of default search engines or internet browsers.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 1 - merger law

The ACCC considers that section 50(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which identifies the factors to be taken into account in assessing the likely competitive effects of a merger or acquisition, could be amended to make it clearer that the following are relevant factors:

(a) the likelihood that an acquisition would result in the removal of a potential competitor, and

(b) the amount and nature of data which the acquirer would likely have access to as a result of the acquisition

 

Preliminary Recommendation 2 - prior notice of acquisitions

The ACCC is also intending to ask large digital platforms (such as Facebook and Google) to provide advance notice of the acquisition of any business with activities in Australia and to provide sufficient time to enable a thorough review of the likely competitive effects of the proposed acquisition.

If such a commitment were not forthcoming from the major digital platforms other options could be considered to address this issue.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 3 - choice of browser and search engine

The ACCC is considering recommending that:

(a) suppliers of operating systems for mobile devices, computers and tablets be required to provide consumers with options for internet browsers (rather than providing a default browser), and

(b) suppliers of internet browsers be required to provide consumers with options for search engines (rather than providing a default search engine).

The ACCC considers that where options for internet browsers and search engines are presented, no option should be pre-selected.

 

Measures to monitor digital platforms’ activities and the potential consequences of those activities for news media organisations and advertisers

A recurring theme in this Inquiry is the market power of Google and Facebook and the critical role these platforms play in enabling businesses to reach consumers, including the ability of news media businesses to reach their audience. The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results. However, the operation of these algorithms and other policies determining the surfacing of content remain opaque.

In the case of the advertising markets, this lack of transparency compounds concerns that Google or Facebook may be favouring either their own related businesses or those businesses with which they have a particular commercial relationship. The ACCC considers that given Google’s and Facebook’s market power, as well as their presence across multiple levels of the advertising supply chain, each has the ability and incentive to favour its own business interests above those of advertisers or potential competitors.

In the case of the media markets, the lack of transparency causes concerns that the algorithms and policies may be operating in a way that affect competition in media markets, and/or the production of news and journalistic content.

Given the significance of these issues, the preliminary recommendation below calls for a regulatory authority to be tasked with monitoring, investigating and reporting on the criteria, commercial arrangements or other factors used by relevant digital platforms (identified according to objective criteria reflective of influence and size) to impact:

(a) the ranking and display of advertisements (or other content when displayed alongside advertisements) with the aim of identifying whether the platforms may be discriminating in favour of their own related businesses or a business with which they have a specific commercial relationship as well as the potential competitive effect

(b) the ranking and display of news and journalistic content with the aim of identifying the effects of algorithms or other policies on the production of news and journalistic content or competition in media markets.

The regulatory authority could also refer matters to other government agencies for investigation where relevant.

The ACCC considers that such a regulatory approach would provide assurances to both businesses and consumers that algorithms are not being used to favour certain businesses or, in the case of news stories, are operating in such a way as to cause significant detriment to the production of news and journalistic content or media markets. The ACCC also considers that this regulatory proposal would ensure Governments stay ahead of the game and are able to identify potentially significant consumer detriment.

The ACCC recognises the importance of preventing ‘gaming’ of algorithms by advertisers and news media businesses. Accordingly, while the ACCC is proposing to recommend that the regulatory authority report publicly on the performance and impact of key algorithms and policies, the ACCC is not proposing that the underlying information provided by the relevant digital platforms to the regulatory authority be made publicly available.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 4 - advertising and related business oversight

A regulatory authority should be tasked to monitor, investigate and report on whether digital platforms, which are vertically integrated and meet the relevant threshold, are engaging in discriminatory conduct (including, but not limited to, conduct which may be anti-competitive) by favouring their own business interests above those of advertisers or potentially competing businesses.

These functions could apply to digital platforms which generate more than AU$100 million per annum from digital advertising in Australia.

The regulatory authority could consider the digital platform’s criteria, commercial arrangements and other circumstances which impact competition between advertisers, suppliers of advertising services and digital platforms. This may include:

  • the ranking and display of advertisements and also organic content (when advertisements are displayed alongside the organic content)
  • whether the acquisition of any other product or service from the same digital platform (or a related business) affects the display or ranking of advertisements or content
  • the impact of any related business of a digital platform (e.g. how referral links appear in the search engine results page or social media news feed).

The relevant digital platforms would need to be obliged to provide information and documents to the regulatory authority on a regular basis, and the regulatory authority would need appropriate investigative powers. The regulatory authority could have the power to investigate complaints, initiate its own investigations, make referrals to other government agencies and to publish reports and make recommendations.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 5 - news and digital platform regulatory oversight

The ACCC considers that the regulatory authority could also monitor, investigate and report on the ranking of news and journalistic content by digital platforms and the provision of referral services to news media businesses.

These functions could apply to digital platforms which generate more than AU$100 million per annum in revenue in Australia and which also disseminate news and journalistic content, including by providing hyperlinks to news and journalistic content, or snippets of such content.

In performing its functions, the regulatory authority could consider the digital platform’s criteria, commercial arrangements and other factors that affect competition in media markets or the production of news and journalistic content in Australia. This may include:

(a) the rankings of news and journalistic content presented to consumers

(b) the referrals of consumers to media businesses.

The relevant digital platforms would need to be obliged to provide information and documents to the regulatory authority on a regular basis, and the regulatory authority would need appropriate investigative powers.

The regulatory authority could have the power to investigate complaints, initiate its own investigations, make referrals to other government agencies and to publish reports and make recommendations.

 

Measures to address regulatory imbalance

Publishers, broadcasters and other media businesses, and digital platforms operate under different regulatory frameworks. The purpose of the preliminary recommendation below is to conduct a review of these frameworks to identify unnecessary regulation and to ensure, where practicable, regulations are applied effectively and consistently across business types, both online and offline.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 6 - review of media regulatory frameworks

The ACCC proposes to recommend the Government conduct a separate, independent review to design a regulatory framework that is able to effectively and consistently regulate the conduct of all entities which perform comparable functions in the production and delivery of content in Australia, including news and journalistic content, whether they are publishers, broadcasters, other media businesses, or digital platforms.

Such a review should focus on content production and delivery and consider the following matters: ƒ

Underlying principles: creating clear guiding principles for an overarching platform-neutral regulatory regime that can apply effectively across media formats and platforms, with common rules applying to online and offline activities, and which is adaptable to new services, platforms and technologies. ƒ

Extent of regulation: setting objective factors to determine whether regulations should be imposed on certain enterprises and determining appropriate roles for self-regulation and co-regulation. ƒ

Content rules: creating a nationally-uniform classification scheme to classify or restrict access to content regardless of the format of delivery. ƒ

Enforcement: implementing appropriate enforcement mechanisms and meaningful sanctions, including whether it is appropriate to establish or appoint a single agency responsible for monitoring, enforcing, complaints-handling, and administering the unified regulatory framework.

The implementation of a unified, platform-neutral framework will affect and simplify existing regulations across the different media, communications and telecommunications industries.

The ACCC would intend to contribute its knowledge and expertise to such a review.

 

Measure to assist a more effective removal of copyright infringing material

Rights holders in Australia, including media businesses, face particular difficulties requesting takedown of copyright-infringing content on digital platforms in a timely way. This is, in part, due to the uncertainties in establishing authorisation liability (that is, liability for ‘authorising’ a copyrightinfringing act) in relation to digital platforms. The purpose of the proposed recommendation below is to encourage the development of timely and effective procedures for the take-down of copyrightinfringing content of Australian rights holders on digital platforms and increase the enforceability of copyright protections online.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 7 - take-down standard

The ACCC proposes to recommend that the ACMA determine a Mandatory Standard regarding digital platforms’ take-down procedures for copyright infringing content to enable effective and timely take-down of copyright-infringing content. This may take the form of legislative amendments to the Telecommunications Act so that the ACMA has the power to set a mandatory industry standard applicable to digital platforms under Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act.

 

Measures to better inform consumers when dealing with digital platforms and to improve their bargaining power

A key preliminary finding of the Inquiry is that consumers are unable to make informed choices over the amount of data collected by the digital platforms, and how this data is used. This reflects the bargaining power held by the digital platforms vis-à-vis consumers, and the information asymmetries that exist between digital platforms and consumers.

In Australia, the collection, use and disclosure of personal information is primarily regulated under privacy laws, though the increasing volume and importance of data in the digital economy means that the collection, use and disclosure of user data increasingly impacts on competition, innovation, and consumer protection issues in Australian markets. The ACCC considers that the current regulatory framework, including privacy laws, does not effectively deter certain data practices that exploit the information asymmetries and the bargaining power imbalances that exist between digital platforms and consumers.

The preliminary recommendations below aim to better inform consumers when dealing with digital platforms and to improve their bargaining power

 

Preliminary Recommendation 8 - use and collection of personal information

The ACCC proposes to recommend the following amendments to the Privacy Act to better enable consumers to make informed decisions in relation to, and have greater control over, privacy and the collection of personal information. In particular, recommendations (a) and (b) are aimed at reducing information asymmetries to improve the transparency of digital platforms’ data practices. Recommendations (c) and (d) seek to provide consumers with stronger mandated controls over the collection, use, disclosure and erasure of their personal information to lessen the bargaining power imbalance between consumers and digital platforms. Recommendations (e) to (g) are measures to increase the deterrence effect of the Privacy Act.

(a) Strengthen notification requirements: Introduce an express requirement that the collection of consumers’ personal information directly or by a third party is accompanied by a notification of this collection that is concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible, written in clear and plain language (particularly if addressed to a child), and provided free of charge.

(b) Introduce an independent third-party certification scheme: Require certain businesses, which meet identified objective thresholds regarding the collection of Australian consumers’ personal information, to undergo external audits to monitor and publicly demonstrate compliance with these privacy regulations, through the use of a privacy seal or mark. The parties carrying out such audits would first be certified by the OAIC.

(c) Strengthen consent requirements: Amend the definition of consent to require express, opt-in consent and incorporate requirements into the Australian Privacy Principles that consent must be adequately informed (including about the consequences of providing consent), voluntarily given, current and specific. This means that settings that enable data collection must be pre-selected to ‘off’. The consent must also be given by an individual or an individual’s guardian who has the capacity to understand and communicate their consent.

(d) Enable the erasure of personal information: Enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent and the personal information is no longer necessary to provide the consumer with a service.

(e) Increase the penalties for breach: Increase penalties for breaches of the Privacy Act to at least mirror the increased penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

(f) Introduce direct rights of action for individuals: Give individual consumers a direct right to bring actions for breach of their privacy under the Privacy Act.

(g) Expand resourcing for the OAIC to support further enforcement activities: Provide increased resources to equip the OAIC to deal with increasing volume, significance, and complexity of privacy-related complaints.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 9 - OAIC Code of Practice for digital platforms

The ACCC proposes to recommend that the OAIC engage with key digital platforms operating in Australia to develop an enforceable code of practice under Part IIIB of the Privacy Act to provide Australians with greater transparency and control over how their personal information is collected, used and disclosed by digital platforms. A code would allow for proactive and targeted regulation of digital platforms’ data collection practices under the existing provisions of the Privacy Act.

The code of practice would likely contain specific obligations on how digital platforms must inform consumers and how to obtain consumers’ informed consent, as well as appropriate consumer controls over digital platforms’ data practices. The ACCC should also be involved in the process for developing this code in its role as the competition and consumer regulator.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 10 - serious invasions of privacy

The ACCC proposes to recommend that the Government adopt the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendation to introduce a statutory cause of action for serious invasions of privacy to increase the accountability of businesses for their data practices and give consumers greater control over their personal information.

 

Preliminary Recommendation 11 - unfair contract terms

The ACCC proposes to recommend that unfair contract terms should be illegal (not just voidable) under the Australian Consumer Law, and that civil pecuniary penalties should apply to their use, to more effectively deter digital platforms, as well as other businesses, from leveraging their bargaining power over consumers by using unfair contract terms in their terms of use or privacy policies.

 

ACCC media release on preliminary report

The ACCC media release accompanying the preliminary report is reproduced below under Creative Commons CC BY 3.0 AU licence (c) Commonwealth of Australia.

With Google and Facebook transforming the way consumers communicate, access news and view advertising online, it is critical that governments and regulators consider the potential issues created by the concentration of market power and the broader impacts of digital platforms.

The preliminary report, published today, contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

The ACCC has reached the view that Google has substantial market power in online search, search advertising and news referral and Facebook has substantial market power in markets for social media, display advertising and online news referral.

The report outlines the ACCC's concerns regarding the market power held by these key platforms, including their impact on Australian businesses and, in particular, the ability of media businesses to monetise their content and the extent to which consumers’ data is collected and used to enable targeted advertising.

“Digital platforms have significantly transformed our lives, the way we communicate with each other and access news and information. We appreciate that many of these changes have been positive for consumers in relation to the way they access news and information and how they interact with each other and with businesses,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“But digital platforms are also unavoidable business partners for many Australian businesses. Google and Facebook perform a critical role in enabling businesses, including online news media businesses, to reach consumers. However, the operation of these platforms’ key algorithms determining the order in which content appears is not at all clear.”

Google and Facebook are now the dominant gateways between news media businesses and audiences and this can reduce the brand value and recognition of media businesses. In addition traditional media businesses and in particular, traditional print media businesses, have lost advertising revenue to digital platforms. This has threatened the viability of business models of the print media and their ability to monetise journalism.

“News and journalism perform a critical role in society. The downturn in advertising revenue has led to a cut in the number of journalists over the past decade. This has implications across society because of the important role the media plays in exposing corruption and holding governments, companies, powerful individuals and institutions to account,” Mr Sims said.

The inquiry has also considered important questions about the range and reliability of news available via Google and Facebook. The ACCC’s preliminary view is that consumers face a potential risk of filter bubbles, or echo chambers, and less reliable news on digital platforms. While the evidence of filter bubbles arising on digital platforms in Australia is not yet strong, the importance of this issue means it requires close scrutiny.

The ACCC is further concerned with the large amount and variety of data which digital platforms such as Google and Facebook collect on Australian consumers, which go beyond the data which users actively provide when using the digital platform.

Research commissioned as part of the inquiry indicates consumers are concerned about the extent and range of information collected by digital platforms. The ACCC is in particular concerned about the length, complexity and ambiguity of online terms of service and privacy policies, including click-wrap agreements with take-it-or-leave-it terms.

Without adequate information and with limited choice, consumers are unable to make informed decisions, which can both harm consumers and impede competition.

The preliminary recommendations and the areas for further analysis identified in the preliminary report have been put forward as potential options to address the actual and potential negative impacts of digital platforms and contribute to the debate about the appropriate level of government oversight.

The report found that key digital platforms, Google and Facebook, had both the ability and incentive to favour related businesses or those businesses with which they may have an existing commercial relationship. The platforms’ algorithms rank and display advertising and news content in a way that lacks transparency to advertisers and news organisations.

“Organisations like Google and Facebook are more than mere distributors or pure intermediaries in the supply of news in Australia; they increasingly perform similar functions as media businesses like selecting, curating and ranking content. Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Mr Sims said.

“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.”

The report makes preliminary recommendations aiming to address Google and Facebook’s market power and promote increased consumer choice, including a proposal that would prevent Google’s internet browser (Chrome) being installed as a default browser on mobile devices, computers and tables and Google’s search engine being installed as a default search engine on internet browsers.

The ACCC also proposes that a new or existing regulatory authority be given the task of investigating, monitoring and reporting on how large digital platforms rank and display advertisements and news content. Other preliminary recommendations suggest ways to strengthen merger laws.

Additional preliminary recommendations deal with copyright, and take-down orders, and the review of existing, disparate media regulations.

The ACCC also notes that consumers will be better off if they can make informed and genuine choices as to how digital platforms collect and use their data, and proposes changes to the Privacy Act to enable consumers to make informed decisions.

The ACCC is further considering a recommendation for a specific code of practice for digital platforms’ data collection to better inform consumers and improve their bargaining power.

“The inquiry has also uncovered some concerns that certain digital platforms have breached competition or consumer laws, and the ACCC is currently investigating five such allegations to determine if enforcement action is warranted,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC is seeking feedback on its preliminary recommendations, and the eight proposed areas for further analysis and assessment.

These eight areas for further analysis include the proposed ‘badging’ by digital platforms of media content, produced by an accountable media business, as well as options to fund the production of news and journalism, such as tax deductions or subsidies, a digital platforms ombudsman to investigate complaints and provide a timely and cost effective means to resolve disputes, and a proposal for digital platforms to allow consumers to opt out of targeted advertising.

Submissions should be made by email to platforminquiry@accc.gov.au(link is external) by 15 February 2019.

Further stakeholder forums may be held in early 2019.

Further information is available at Digital platforms inquiry

A media conference will be held at the Westin Sydney at 12.30pm.

It will be live streamed at www.accc.gov.au and https://goliveaustralia.com.au/ACCC

 

Commissioned research

 

Issues paper

Released 26 February 2017. Submissions due 3 April 2017.

View Issues paper.

Key sections and questions for stakeholders are reproduced below under the following section headings:

Scope of inquiry

The first section of the Issues Paper addresses the scope of the inquiry.

It begins by exploring the key terms used in the Terms of Reference:

Ditigal platforms (platform services)

Platform services’ are described in the Terms of Reference as ‘digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms’ (also referred to as ‘digital platforms’ in this Issues Paper).

The ACCC considers that relevant digital platforms for this Inquiry are those that may impact on competition in media and advertising services markets, particularly in relation to the supply of news and journalistic content. Practically, this may include digital platforms that provide media content, social interaction or search functionality (or some combination of these) to attract consumers to the platform and then sell ‘access’ to these consumers to advertisers. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Apple News are examples of such platforms

Two questions follow:

1.1. Which digital platforms do you consider to be relevant to this Inquiry?

1.2. Should the Inquiry consider digital platforms that do not currently provide access to news and journalistic content in Australia but may either provide news and journalistic content in the future and/or have an impact in relevant markets (e.g. Amazon,1 instant messaging applications)?

 

‘News and journalistic content’

The Inquiry is directed at the impact of digital platforms on the state of competition in media and advertising services markets, ‘in particular in relation to the supply of news and journalistic content’. It will be important to consider how broadly the nature and scope of news and journalistic content should be defined. The ACCC will consider both well-established news providers and publishers as well as newer online-only suppliers of news and journalistic content, including podcasts. Specialist news suppliers (e.g. providers of science news or technology news) and opinion-led blogs and commentary as well as general news suppliers may also be relevant.

The Inquiry will examine the supply of news and journalistic content to consumers in Australia. This means that the Inquiry will focus on the news and journalistic content that is likely of most interest to Australian consumers, such as reporting and analysis of current events relating to Australia or where a particular Australian perspective is provided. While this focus does not limit the Inquiry to Australian news and journalistic content, it does mean the Inquiry will pay particular attention to Australian news content or perspectives produced by Australian and international publishers and broadcasters.

Two questions follow:

1.3. What ‘news and journalistic content’ is particularly relevant to this inquiry? Should the ACCC consider a broad range of specialist suppliers of news and journalistic content?

1.4. Should the Inquiry focus on news and journalistic content supplied to consumers in Australia or news and journalistic content produced in Australia?

‘Choice and quality’

The Terms of Reference require the ACCC to take into account the impact of platform service providers on ‘the level of choice and quality’ of news and journalistic content supplied to consumers. As discussed in section 2 below, the availability of pluralistic and high-quality news content benefits society as a whole.

Media choice and diversity can be measured in a number of ways. Important indicators include the number of independent media voices present in the relevant region and the range and diversity of perspectives typically covered by those media voices. Digitalisation clearly has the potential to increase the choices of news and journalistic content available to Australian consumers, although established news providers still account for a significant share of online news consumption. However, also relevant to this Inquiry is the extent to which digital platforms impact the diversity of news and journalistic content supplied to consumers, including through the platforms’ algorithmic selection of news stories.

The ACCC considers that the ‘quality’ of the news and journalistic content available refers to the extent to which the content produced exhibits characteristics such as objectivity and accuracy and performs functions such as analysis and investigation. Factors impacting quality might include the funds available for investment in news gathering and reporting and the level of competition between news providers.

In addition to choice and quality, a number of related issues such as journalistic and editorial integrity, access to local content, and promoting Australian culture may also be relevant to this Inquiry. These issues will be considered to the extent that they have arisen due to the competitive impact of digital platforms on the media and advertising markets.

Two questions follow

1.5. What are appropriate metrics for measuring the choice and quality of news and journalistic content?

1.6. Are there any other issues relevant to the choice and quality of news and journalistic content that should be considered by the ACCC?

‘Media and advertising services’

The focus of the Inquiry is on the impact of digital platforms on the state of competition in ‘media and advertising services markets, in particular in relation to the supply of news and journalistic content’.

Media

The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the Inquiry should focus on the media markets involved in the supply of news and journalistic content. Media content which is far removed from news and current events, produced solely to entertain rather than inform consumers is unlikely to be a focus of this Inquiry. However, the ACCC recognises that the line to be drawn between news and journalistic content and other media content will not always be clear.

Advertising services

The Inquiry will also explore the impact of digital platforms on competition in the supply of advertising services. Compared to traditional advertising channels (e.g. newspaper, TV, radio), digital platforms provide advertisers with significant reach and greater precision in targeting consumers with particular interests or purchasing patterns. Advertising has consequently become much more efficient. However, there are currently only a few platforms with the scale and data access to offer such services. A key issue for competition in the supply of advertising services is the alternatives available to advertisers. These alternatives depend on the type of advertising (e.g. classified, display), the target audiences and the ability to target particular consumer groups.

Industry overview

The second section of the report provides an industry overview and identifies some areas of potential concern.

Questions to stakeholders

Section 3 of the issues paper sets out questions to stakeholders additional to those relating to the scope of the inquiry. Stakeholders are encouraged to make subimssions on questions relevant to them - submissions are not expected or required to cover each question.

Assessing the market power of digital platforms

The Terms of Reference require the Inquiry to consider the extent to which digital platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings with the creators of journalistic content and advertisers.

To consider this issue, it is necessary to assess the degree of market power of digital platforms (if any), identify any sources of that market power, and identify those most at risk from the exercise of any market power.

Central to this assessment is the recognition that digital platforms provide services to different types of users (e.g. consumers seeking to search the internet and advertisers seeking to reach an audience) and that the demand for the use of a platform by the different types of users can be interdependent (e.g. the value of a search engine to advertisers can depend on the number and type of consumers who use it). This interdependence can lead to different types of network effects for one or more groups of users (e.g. the more users on a social media network increases the value of that network for other users as well as for advertisers).

Network effects can benefit established digital platforms by entrenching their market position and raising barriers to entry for new entrants who have not yet acquired a critical mass of users. Barriers to entry may also be heightened by steps taken by digital platforms such as contract terms that seek to prevent new entrants from accessing users in established networks or the acquisition of potential rivals. 36 The ACCC seeks views on issues relevant to assessing the market power of digital platforms in relation to relevant groups of users including consumers, advertisers, and media content creators. The ACCC also seeks views on whether specific steps taken by digital platform may raise barriers of entry in any relevant market.

3.1. What are the relevant media and advertising services markets for this Inquiry? Who are the key market participants?

3.2. What are the relevant markets for assessing the market power of digital platforms? Who do digital platforms compete with?

3.3. How should the market power of digital platforms be assessed? What are appropriate metrics for measuring any market power (e.g. market concentration, profits, prices, number of users, access to user data)?

3.4. Do digital platforms have market power? If so, which digital platforms and in which markets? In particular:

(a) What realistic alternatives are available to users (i.e. consumers, advertisers and media content creators) of digital platforms? Do these alternatives effectively constrain the behaviour of digital platforms?

(b) Do users use multiple digital platforms for similar functions? Do you have any evidence or observations on switching between platforms or the growth of new platforms?

(c) What difficulties do users encounter in switching between platforms? Do digital platforms engage in behaviour that makes switching between platforms more costly or more difficult for users?

(d) Does increasing the number of users increase the attractiveness of that digital platform for other users? Does this mean that it is only viable for one or two digital platforms providing a similar service to consumers to operate at the one time?

(e) What difficulties are faced by providers in establishing competing platforms? Does the threat of new entry limit the market power of digital platforms? Over what timeframe should the threat of new entry be assessed?

(f) Are there examples where digital platforms have engaged in behaviours that indicate the exercise of market power? What types of users are most at risk from any exercise of market power by digital platforms?

3.5. Do digital platforms engage in any behaviour that enhances their market position by excluding competitors or potential competitors, e.g. through the acquisition of rivals or restrictive contract terms?

Implications for media content creators, advertisers and consumers

The Inquiry is required to consider the impact of digital platforms on the state of competition in media and advertising services markets. In the following questions, the ACCC seeks input into how these markets have been affected by digital platforms and the resulting implications for media content creators, advertisers and consumers.

Implications for media content creators (journalists and media organisations)

3.6. Describe the nature of any impacts (positive and negative) that digital platforms are having on media content creators? What causes these impacts? Are these impacts temporary or ongoing?

3.7. What are the advantages and disadvantages for media content creators of using digital platforms to publish or distribute their content?

3.8. What terms and conditions do digital platforms offer media content creators to publish or distribute their content? How do they differ from those offered by other distributors of media content? Do digital platforms offer different terms to different media content creators?

3.9. Have digital platforms changed the price, quality or choice of media content for Australian consumers? If so, what are the implications of this for media content creators? For example, how easily can media content creators offer access to subscriber only content via digital platforms and how readily can they obtain brand attribution for content accessed via digital platforms?

3.10. Do digital platforms have access to user data that is helpful to media content creators (e.g. readership statistics)? Does this access to user data create any information asymmetry between digital platforms and media content creators and, if so, how does this impact competition in the relevant markets?

3.11. If so, how much do media content creators value access to such user data? How does the access to or control over user data impact the relationship between digital platforms and media content creators? For instance, how transparent are digital platforms about how content reaches consumers via their algorithms and how much notice do media content creators receive when significant changes are made?

3.12. How important are digital platforms in delivering audience (and revenue) to media content creators relative to total audience and revenue?

 

Implications for advertisers

3.13. Describe the nature of the impacts (positive and negative) that digital platforms are having on advertisers? What causes these impacts? Are these impacts temporary or ongoing?

3.14. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using advertising services offered by digital platforms for advertisers (i.e. advertising agencies and businesses directly advertising on digital platforms)?

3.15. What terms and conditions do digital platforms offer advertisers? How do they differ from those offered by other suppliers of advertising services? Have digital platforms changed the price, quality or choice for advertisers? If so, what are the implications of this for advertisers?

3.16. Do digital platforms have access to user data that is helpful to advertisers (e.g. return on investment statistics)? Does this access to user data create any information asymmetry between digital platforms and advertisers and, if so, how does this impact competition in the relevant markets?

3.17. How much do advertisers value digital platforms’ access to user data? How does the access to or control over user data impact the relationship between digital platforms and advertisers?

 

Implications for consumers

3.18. Describe the nature of the impacts (positive and negative) that digital platforms are having on consumers? What causes these impacts? Are these impacts temporary or ongoing?

3.19. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using digital platforms for consumers?

3.20. What terms and conditions govern consumers’ use of digital platforms? How do they differ from those which apply when consumers obtain news and journalistic content from other sources?

3.21. Are consumers generally aware of these terms and conditions? Specifically, do Australian consumers understand the value of the data they provide, the extent to which platforms collect and use their personal data for commercial purposes, and how to assess the value or quality of the service they receive from the digital platforms?

3.22. Have digital platforms changed the price of media content supplied to Australian consumers?

3.23. If you consider the collection of data part of the effective price paid by consumers for use of the digital platforms, to what extent are consumers aware of and provide informed consent for the collection and use of their data?

3.24. Have digital platforms changed the quality or choice of media content supplied to Australian consumers? Has the use of algorithms to select content changed the diversity of news supplied to consumers?

3.25. How do consumers value digital platforms’ access to their data? Do consumers see it as a cost or a benefit (e.g. it enables customisation of the content displayed)? How does the access to or control over user data impact the relationship between digital platforms and consumers?

Longer-term trends

Innovation and technological change have led to significant changes to the way news and journalistic content is delivered and consumed in Australia over the past decade. In the following questions, the ACCC seeks stakeholder comment on the impact of longer-term trends, including innovation and technological change, on the state of competition in media and advertising services markets.

3.26. How have the channels used by Australian consumers’ to access news and journalistic content (e.g. TV, newspapers, social media, search engines) changed in the past five to ten years? How will this change in the next five to ten years?

3.27. How have the types of news and journalistic content accessed by Australian consumers’ changed in the past five to ten years? How will this change in the next five to ten years?

3.28. How has Australian advertising expenditure changed over time? In particular, how have digital platforms impacted the advertising revenue of media companies, especially those involved in the supply of news and journalistic content, and how have media markets responded?

3.29. Have innovation and technological change increased or decreased competition in the media and advertising services markets?

3.30. Have the markets that digital platforms operate in changed over time and are they likely to change further in the future? For example, to what extent can digital platforms now be considered to be publishers rather than distributors of content, and is this likely to evolve in the future?

3.31. How are the business models for news and journalism likely to evolve over the next decade and how sustainable is the commercial provision of high quality news in Australia? Do you have any other comments or observations on the impact of digital platforms or on the state of competition in the media and advertising services markets?

Existing regulation and proposals for change

In the following questions, the ACCC seeks submissions on the effectiveness of existing regulation applicable to the digital platforms and to the media and advertising services markets, as well as proposals for change.

3.32 Attachment B summarises the key existing regulation in Australia that applies to the media and advertising services markets. Are there any additional existing or proposed laws or regulations in Australia which should be taken into account by the ACCC in this inquiry?

3.33. How do existing laws and regulations apply to the conduct of digital platforms? For example:

  • are digital platforms required to verify news and journalistic content before distributing it?
  • do intellectual property and copyright laws apply to the conduct of digital platforms in a similar way as to other market participants?

If these laws and regulations do not apply to digital platforms, what are the implications for competition in the media and advertising services markets and how does this impact the quality and choice of news and journalistic content for consumers?

3.34. Should digital platforms be subject to the same laws and regulations as other market participants in the media and advertising services markets (e.g. news and journalistic content creators or distributors)?

3.35. What steps have been taken by digital platforms to address any competition and consumer concerns that have been raised (e.g. self-regulatory codes or guidelines). To what extent have these initiatives addressed concerns?

3.36. Are the existing laws and regulations sufficient to address the activities of digital platforms? Is there a case for the specific regulation of digital platforms and, if so, what issues would proposed regulation seek to address?

 

Terms of reference

Digital platformsThe Treasurer, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, wrote to the ACCC on 4 December 2017 directing the ACCC to hold a public inquiry into the impact of digital platforms on competition in media and advertising, pursuant to s 95H(1) of the CCA. The matters for consideration were set out in an acocmpanying notice:

I, Scott Morrison, Treasurer, pursuant to subsection 95H( 1) of the Competitoin and Consumer Act 2010, hereby require the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to hold an inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms (platform services) on the state of competition in media and advertising services markets, in particular in relation to the supply of news and journalistic content, and the implications of this for media content creators, advertisers and consumers.

Matters to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to:

i. the extent to which platform service providers are exercising market power in commercial dealings with the creators of journalistic content and advertisers;
ii. the impact of platform service providers on the level of choice and quality of news and journalistic content to consumers;
iii. the impact of platform service providers on media and advertising markets;
iv. the impact of longer-term trends, including innovation and technological change, on competition in media and advertisign markets; and
v. the impact of information asymmetry between platform service providers, advertisers and consumers and the effect on competition in media and advertising markets.


This is not to be an inquiry into supply by any particular person or persons, or by a state or territory authority.

This inquiry is to commence today and submit to me a preliminary report within 12 months and final report within 18 months.

 

Submissions

Submissions made in response to the issues paper were published on the ACCC's inquiry websites on 3 May (a total of 57 submissions). A further seven submissions were published on 11 May as well as a revised submission by the SBS. The ACCC also published a summary of responses to the ACCC's questionnaire (280 responses received)..

The originally published submissions were accompanied my an ACCC media release which stated, in part:

The submissions canvassed a wide range of issues, including the degree of market power held by the digital platforms, the digital advertising supply chain, and the use of news content by digital platforms, including Google and Facebook.

Submissions also detailed the impact of digital platforms on the quality and choice of news in Australia, and the extent to which consumers are aware of how their data is collected and used.

Submissions on preliminary report

Submissions were due 15 February 2019.

86 submissions were published on the ACCC website on 4 March 2019 and a second tranche of 27 submissions was published on 12 March 2019.

For a summary of selected submissions see:

Newsmediaworks, 'ACCC Preliminary report submissions: selected extracts and key points' (14 March 2019)

5Rights Foundation

Ad Standards

American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law

American Express

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising

Australian Association of National Advertisers

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Australian Copyright Council

Australian Council on Children and the Media

Australian Data Privacy Certification Register

Australian Digital Alliance

Australian Film & TV Bodies

Australian Finance Industry Association

Australian Press Council

Australian Privacy Foundation

Australian Publishers Association

Australian Society of Authors

Brad Ellis

Brad Parfitt

BSA The Software Alliance

Carol O'Donnell

Centre for Media Transition

Christine A. McDaniel and Danielle Parks

ClimActs

Clubs Australia

Coalition of Major Professional & Participation Sports

Commercial Radio Australia

Communications Alliance

Computer & Communications Industry Association

Confidential Party #1

Consumer Action Law Centre

Consumer Policy Research Centre

Country Press Australia

Croakey Health Media

David Warr (February 2019)

DIGI (March 2019)

Dr. Kate Mathews Hunt

Dr. Katharine Kemp & Dr. Rob Nicholls

DuckDuckGo

Facebook Australia

Financial Rights Legal Centre

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education

Foxtel

Free TV

Freedom Publishers Union

Fundraising Institute Australia

Gamblock

Getty Images

Gladwin Legal

Global Antitrust Institute

Google

Guardian Australia

Guillaume Roger

Iconoclast Tech

Indue

Innovation Defense Foundation

Insurance Council of Australia

International Center for Law and Economics

Internet of Things Alliance Australia

Intran Australia

Joint Submission 13 Parties

Kayleen Manwaring

Law Council of Australia

McPherson Media Group

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

Michael Hollis

Microsoft

MIGA

Music Rights Australia

News Corp Australia

NewsMediaWorks

Nicolas Suzor

Nine

Obesity Policy Coalition

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

Optus

Oracle Corporation

Outdoor Media Association

Professor Jeannie Marie Paterson

Professor Terry Flew and Associate Professor Tim Dwyer

Progressive Policy Institute

Provincial Press Group

Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA

Public Health Association of Australia

Public Interest Journalism Initiative

Queensland Country Press Association

Queensland Law Society

REA Group

Redbubble

Richard Meade

Rod Harris

Screen Producers Australia

Simon Moore

Special Broadcasting Service

Star News Group

StartupAUS

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Tania Katsanis

The Australian Industry Group

The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

The North Western Courier

Tony Healy

TotallyAwesome

Twitter

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Village Roadshow

Warwick Jones

Worldview Exchange

 

See also.

On the issues paper

More than fifty seven submissions were made in response to the issues paper (57 were published on 3 May; a further seven were published on 11 May as well as a revised SBS submission). On 11 May the ACCC also published a summary of responses to the ACCC's questionnaire (280 responses received). These can be viewed on the ACCC website.

The following submissions were published on 3 May (unless otherwise noted; submissions published at a later date are dated; most recently published submissions appear with 'new' image).

Descriptions of organisation and individuals (taken from submissions) provided for context.

Access Now

'Access Now is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2009 to extend and defend the digital rights of users at risk. Access Now provides policy recommendations to leaders in the public and private sectors to ensure the internet’s continued openness and the protection of fundamental rights. We engage with an action focused global community from more than 185 countries, and our Technology Arm operates a 24/7 digital security helpline that provides real time direct technical assistance to users around the world' (Sub p 1)

Ad Standards

'Ad Standards is the central authority in Australia for receiving complaints about advertising content across all forms of media (including online advertising), and in relation to the advertising of any products or services' (Sub p 2)

Australian Associated Press

'AAP has been an integral part of the Australian media landscape for almost 85 years, providing the foundation of news content for newspapers, radio news and talkback programs, television news and more recently the digital versions of all of the above, as well as new digital news arrivals to the national media market' (Sub para 2.1)

'AAP’s primary view is that the introduction of digital search engines, aggregators and social media platforms has changed forever the commercial dynamics of the media industry, having a detrimental impact on AAP, as well as its subscribers (which are also AAP’s primary revenue sources). Ultimately the impact is a poorer information service to Australian news consumers' (Sub para 1.3)

Australian Association of National Advertisers

'The AANA is the peak body for advertisers and has represented national advertising for 90 years. It represents the common interests and obligations of companies across all business sectors involved in the advertising, marketing and media industry.

The AANA has a strong ongoing commitment to self-regulation. The AANA designed and delivered the self-regulatory component of regulation controlling advertising and marketing communication in Australia.' (Sub p 2)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

'The ABC is internationally recognised as a multi-platform source of Australian conversations, culture and stories—valued and trusted as the national public broadcaster since 1932 while evolving its content and services to meet changing audience behaviours and community needs.' (Sub p 4)

The submission provides a summary of key themes on p 3:

Digital platforms have contributed to an unprecedented level of disruption to Australia’s news media landscape
Australians are increasingly accessing news via a variety of platforms, in effect fragmenting the news media landscape. In this environment, the ABC is delivering quality news and journalism to audiences where they are searching for it and where they are spending significant amounts of time, while adapting to and harnessing the capabilities that digital platforms can offer.

Audiences have moved online, so it is critical that media content creators follow them
The shift away from traditional media delivery methods increases the need for strong, impartial news providers that are focused on the Australian market, like the ABC. The ABC is continually responding to the changing environment and is striving to fulfil its mandate of reaching as many Australians as possible by delivering news and journalistic content on the ABC’s trusted and advertisement-free digital platforms. At the same time, the ABC is engaging with digital platforms in ways that are efficient, effective and convenient for its audiences. This means the ABC’s independent news service can reach more Australians, including those who are not actively seeking news content.

The disruption created by digital platforms has created an
increased demand for trustworthy and reliable news media content

The disruption from digital platforms has led to an increasing demand from audiences for independent, trustworthy, local news and journalistic content. To reflect these audience demands, the ABC suggests a multi-faceted approach to measuring quality and choice of news and journalism. The key characteristics of measuring quality news content include coverage of relevant and publicly important topics, diversity and timeliness, as well as impartiality, accuracy and indepth investigation.

Australian Communications and Media Authority

'The ACMA is an independent statutory authority responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications and some online content.' (sub p 1)

Australian Film & TV Bodies

'The Australian Film & TV Bodies represent a large cross-section of the film and television industry that contributed $5.8 billion to the Australian economy and supported an estimated 46,600 FTE workers in 2012-13.' (Sub p 1)

'The Australian Film & TV Bodies are made up of the Australian Screen Association (ASA), the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA), the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA), the National Association of Cinema Operators-Australasia (NACO), the Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA) and the Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA).' (Sub p 3)

Australian Lottery and Newsagents' Association

'The Australian Lottery and Newsagents’ Association (ALNA) is the peak national industry body representing Lottery Agents, Retail Newsagents’ and Distribution Newsagents who along with affiliated state lottery associations, are small businesses that are found in almost every rural town, regional centre, urban and metropolitan shopping centre in Australia.' (sub p 1)

Australian Press Council

'The objects of the Press Council, as stated in its constitution, include promotion of freedom of speech through responsible and independent print and digital media, and adherence to high journalistic and editorial standards.

The Press Council is also the principal body with responsibility for setting and promoting high professional standards for publisher members and for dealing with complaints about Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets. The Press Council plays a pivotal role in promoting and upholding high standards of journalistic practice. This underpins the effective functioning of a free press, which is crucial for the proper functioning of democratic institutions.' (sub p 2)

Australian Publishers Association

'The APA is the peak national body for Australian book, journal and electronic publishers. Established in 1948, the Association is an advocate for all Australian publishers - large and small; commercial and non-profit; academic and popular; locally and overseas owned. The Association has approximately 210 members and, based on turnover, represents over 90% of the industry. Our members include publishers from all sectors of the publishing industry - trade and children’s, schools, tertiary and academic publishing.' (Sub p 1)

Australian Radio Network

'... ARN owns or controls 12 commercial radio stations across Australia ... ARN also operates a number of DAB+ stations ... ARN is owned by HT&E Limited, an ASX listed Australian company' (sub p 1)

'In short, we would like to see a similar regulatory burden on online and traditional media to allow an even playing field' (sub p 1)

Australian Recording Industry Association

'The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is the peak trade body for the recorded music industry in Australia. ARIA is a not for profit, national industry association that proactively represents the interests of its members.

ARIA has more than 100 members ranging from small "boutique" labels typically run by 1-5 people, to medium sized businesses and very large companies with international affiliates.' (Sub p 2)

Australian Society of Authors

'The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is the peak national organisation representing Australian writers and illustrators. ...

This Inquiry is most directly relevant to those of our members who are freelance writers and journalists. While the vast majority (87%) of our members publish in print (and mainly under traditional publishing contracts), almost half of our members (45%) have published online. Therefore, while we encourage the ACCC to look to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) as the most relevant body to represent journalists, we wish to make a brief submission on behalf of writers and illustrators more generally.' (Sub p 1)

New submission (11 May)Carol O'Donnell (2 October 2018)

Commercial Radio Australia

'Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) is the peak industry body representing the interests of commercial radio broadcasters throughout Australia. CRA has 260 member stations, comprising 99% of the Australian commercial radio industry.' (Sub p 1)

Communications Council

'The Communications Council is the peak industry organisation representing companies in the Australian advertising industry. Our diverse member base spans more than 160 agencies and offices around the country which operate in the areas of creative, digital, strategic planning, promotion, direct marketing, PR, design, production, and healthcare advertising.

Our members are comprised of local offices from all major holding companies (Omnicom, WPP, Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas Worldwide, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group, and M&C Saatchi), smaller international networks and a flourishing segment of largely privately-owned Australian independent agencies.' (Sub p 1)

Confidential Party #1
(Confidential submission, partly redacted - focus on Amazon and books)

New submission (11 May)Confidential Party #2 (revised version 28 May 2018)

New submission (11 May)Consumer Policy Research Centre (April 2018)

'CPRC is an independent, not-for-profit consumer research organisation ...'

David Fagan
(Adjunct Professor of Business, QUT and former editorial executive of News Corp in Qld)

New submission (11 May)David Nebe (February 2018; published 11 May 2018)

Brief note - expressing concern about Facebook domination

Digital Industry Group Incorporated

'DIGI includes representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Oath. DIGI members collectively provide various digital services to Australians ranging from Internet search engines, social media platforms and other digital communications platforms. These services and platforms facilitate new distribution, marketing and revenue generating channels for Australian businesses and content creators, including news publishers and journalists. They are also driving fundamental changes to the way that business is conducted, and content is created and distributed. These technological advances are to the overwhelming benefit of Australian consumers and our wider economy' (Sub p 1)

Facebook Australia

'We offer a broad range of products and services that enable Australians and people around the world to connect with each other by sharing ideas and experiences with their friends, families, and other communities. Facebook also helps people discover content that is meaningful to them' (sub p 4 (of 83))

Fairfax Media

'As Australia’s oldest news organisation and the publisher of the country’s leading mastheads, [Fairfax Media] is uniquely positioned to do [respond to this inquiry.' (Sub p 1)

'Fairfax's Austrlaian publications include: The Sydney Morning Herald,...The Age, ... The Australian Financial Review, ... The Canberra Times ... Digital-only news sites Brisbane Times and WAtoday ... Along with 13 major regional dailies including key mastheads the Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury, more than 130 non-daily regional titles, 9 community titles and 10 national specialist agricultural titles including The Land.' (Sub p 1)

Food4U

Brief submissionf rom Kata Baranyi, Owner AP Baranyi & JK Baranyi, T/A Food4U The Food Factory.

Submission claims '... we were squeezed out of the digital platforms by larger or a proliferation of companies ... Whilst these digital platforms may be affordable to many companies, it is the small business owners (companies employing under 20 or 30 staff) that cannot even afford to compete on any equal playing field or search engine with the exception of social media. ...' (Sub p 1)

Foxtel & Fox Sports

'Foxtel is one of Australia’s most innovative and dynamic media companies and home to award winning local drama plus the widest choice in live sport, hit international TV and movies and a host of complete TV seasons.' (sub p 3)

'FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Limited ... is Australia’s leading producer of sports coverage and is home to Australia’s favourite subscription television sports channels as well as Australia’s number one multi-sports website and app.' (sub p 3)

Argue (in part): 'The free (but unauthorised) availability of Foxtel and Fox Sports’ content on digital platforms is undermining subscription revenue, contributing to churn and threatening the economics of content production' (Sub p 2)

Free TV Australia

Submission also published by Free TV here: Free TV, Submission by Free TV Australia, Digital Platforms Inquiry, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (April 2018)

'Free TV represents all of Australia’s commercial television networks, covering metropolitan, regional and remote areas.' (sub p 5)

Executive summary (p 3)
...

Google and Facebook have become virtual monopolies in search and social media and have become seemingly essential to our personal lives and in business. However, despite the influence and power they enjoy, these platforms have achieved this position with very little oversight from Government or regulators.

The rise of Facebook and Google has had a significant and irreversible effect on traditional media companies. The diversion of advertising revenue to these dominant digital titans away from newspapers, radio and television directly impacts the delivery of local, trusted, fair, accurate and impartial news content that is vital to our democracy. It also impacts the local entertainment, sport and drama programs that contribute so much to our sense of national identity.

Digital advertising, driven by Google and Facebook, has captured more than half of all Australian advertising revenue in a little over a decade. ... Google and Facebook have in part been able to achieve this outcome based on unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims around reach, viewability and effectiveness. They write their own standards and force advertisers to use their vertically integrated products to get access to their platforms.

...

The top priority for this inquiry must be to address the absence of independently verifiable metrics to provide reliable information on the true reach and viewability of advertising on the Facebook and Google platforms. The ACCC should require Facebook and Google to implement third-party Software Development Kits (SDK) and transparent measurement of web traffic to allow robust and reliable measurement and verification. It is not acceptable for these dominant platforms to set and supposedly verify their own measurement tools.

Facebook and Google have also been able to take advantage of their almost completely unregulated status in competing with commercial television broadcasters, who remain the most heavily regulated media platform in Australia. ...

Google and Facebook are not merely platforms, they are also media companies. They monetise content. However, unlike commercial television broadcasters that invest in the creation of content, Google and Facebook monetise content created by others, without meaningfully investing in its creation or licensing its use. To add insult to injury, these platforms earn significant revenue by facilitating access to illegal pirated content. ...

The scale of personal data collected and stored by Facebook and Google is now a significant barrier to entry. It has also given rise to serious concerns around privacy and misuse of that data. The ACCC must seriously consider the need for greater transparency and controls around data collection and use.

New submission (11 May)Free TV Australia Submission 2 (Sept 2018)

 

New submission (11 May)Free TV Australia Submission 3 (November 2018)

 

Freedom Publishers Union

From Freedom Publishers Union website (about us): 'Opening the gates of freedom of information and transparency. Making the internet and open-source software more accessible. We publish articles, documents and files on topics of interest related to, but not limited to: Freedom of information, Digital Privacy Violations, Mass-surveillance ... At Freedom Publishers Union, our political view is largely libertarian, who believe in fairness and democracy.'

Getty Images

'Getty Images was founded 22 years ago. It has an award-winning image and video collection of over 250 million assets, of which over 170 million are digitized, encompassing the latest global news, sports, celebrity, music and fashion coverage; exclusive conceptual creative images; and the world’s largest commercial archive. New content is added daily, with more than 6 million highly edited and curated new assets added each quarter.' (Sub p 1)

Google

Submission also published by Google: Google, Submission of Google Australia Pty Ltd to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry (20 April 2018)

New submission (11 May)Google Submission 2 (26 October 2018)

 

Harley Comrie

Submission comprises reproduction of blog piece published in The Stragegist (blog of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute) on 18 January 2018 under the title 'Misinformation for profit'. Focus is on fake news.

Internet Australia

'Internet Australia is the not-for-profit organisation representing all users of the Internet. Our mission – “Helping Shape Our Internet Future” – is to promote Internet developments for the benefit of the whole Australian community, including business, educational, government and private Internet users. Our leaders and members are experts who hold significant roles in Internet-related organisations and enable us to provide education and high level policy and technical information to Internet user groups, governments and regulatory authorities. We are the Australian chapter of the global Internet Society, where we contribute to the development of international Internet policy, governance, regulation and technical development for the global benefit' (Sub p 1)

Intran Australia

No corporate blurb provided, not notes that for 'some time, Intran Australia Pty Ltd has been pursuing a venture to see established in Australia a National Internet Platform' (sub p 1)

James Meese

Executive summary: '... The digital market is changing and growing at a rapid rate, such that perhaps the only current certainty is uncertainty. Moreover, digital platforms intervene in multiple markets, which are often interrelated. This makes it difficult to assess the power of digital platforms in light of current competition law frameworks. Nonetheless, there are dominant platforms and trends towards market concentration in Australia. I recommend a range of reforms around the use, handling and transfer of data. However, at this stage, I suggest the market remains too underdeveloped to engage in substantive intervention around competition ...'

New submission (11 May)Karl Goiser (published 11 May)

Brief submission with focus on Facebook and Google. Argues effect of Facebook and Google buying out competition (referencing YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp) 'is anti-competitive behaviour because it destroys competition when small and not allowing it to grow'.

New submission (11 May)Margaret Simons (published 11 May)
Associate Professor, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University

Includes timeline of relevant inquiries into journalism and media regulation.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

Also published by MEAA here: MEAA, MEAA submission to the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms (April 2018)

No corporate blurb provided in submission. From MEAA website: 'Built on integrity and powered by creativity, MEAA is the largest and most established union and industry advocate for Australia’s creative professionals.'

New submission (11 May)MediaScope (published 11 May)
Submission by Denise Shrivell, MediaScope

MediaScope 'is a solo-run business which launched in early 2010 and now creates and curates a unique range of resources, services, independent advice and industry commentary for the media, advertising and marketing sectors ...' (from 'About Us' page on website

Submission takes the form of PowerPoint presentation (20 pages)

Medibank

No corporate blurb provided in submission, although submission notes that the response reflects view of the Medibank Group, including its private health insurance subsidiary, amh, and that data used in the submission relates to Medibank Private Limited.

Corporate website: 'Medibank is a leading private health insurer, with 40 years of experience delivering better health to Australians. We look after the health cover needs of more than 3.7 million customers through our Medibank and ahm brands, and distribute travel, life and pet insurance.'

Mitchell Watt & Hubert Wu

Submission details findings of reserach project conducted at Harvard Kennedy School into regulatory appropriate regulatory responses to online platforms; project was conducted for Office of Policy Planning at US Federal Trade Commission - that full report is also available here: Mitchell Watt and Hubert We, 'Trust mechanisms and online platforms: a regulatory reponse' (Policy Analysis Exercise for the Federal Trade Commission, 27 March 2018)

National Association for the Visual Arts

'The National Association for the Visual Arts is the peak body representing the professional interests of the Australian visual and media arts, craft and design sector, comprising of 20,000 practitioners, galleries and other art organisations. Since its establishment in 1983, NAVA has been influential in bringing about policy and legislative change to encourage the growth and development of the visual arts sector and to increase professionalism within the industry.

NAVA sets industry standards through the Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector. We have long been committed to ensuring copyright entitlements for visual creators and, in 1995, were responsible for the establishment of Viscopy, Australia’s visual arts copyright collecting agency, now part of Copyright Agency. NAVA has long been a vigorous advocate for the introduction of both moral rights and resale royalty rights legislation.' (sub p 1)

New submission (11 May)Netflix (June 2018)

 

Network Ten

'Ten is one of Australia's leading entertainment and news content companies, with assets across free-to-air television, online and digital platforms. It is owned by CBS Corporation, one of the world's leading media organisations.' (Sub p 1)

In addition to making its own brief submission, Ten notes that it was 'directly engaged in and strongly supports the detailed submission made by Free TV Australia ...' (Sub p 1)

News & Media Research Centre

'The News and Media Research Centre (N&MRC) at the University of Canberra (http://www.canberra.edu.au/nmrc) investigates the evolution of media, content and communication and the impact of online and mobile systems on the way citizens consume information.

Since 2015, the Centre has published the Digital News Report: Australia, a national annual online survey of more than 2,000 adult Australians which monitors changes in news consumption over time, particularly within the digital space. The Australian survey forms part of a global study of 36 news markets by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford' (Sub p 1)

New submission (11 May)News and Media Research Centre (June 2018)

 

News Corp Australia

News Corp Australia's 144 page submission does not include a corporate blurb. The corporate website describes it as 'Australia's No.1 media company' offering 'advertisers greater reach of audiences than any other Australian media company across all platforms - print, web, broadcast, mobile & tablet.' Brands include The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courer Mail, Mergury, WSJ, Vogue Australia, GQ AUstralia, Kidspot and many more.

News Corp Australia argues (in part) : 'A number of digital platforms possess substantial market pwoer and are engaging in anti-competitive practices that prevent publishers such as News Corp Australia from competing on the merits. These practices have the potential to profoundly damage the creation, distribution and consumption of news and journalism in Australia ...' (p 2)

New submission (11 May)News Corp Australia Submission 2 (7 September 2018)

 

Nine

'Nine Entertainment Co. (ASX: NEC) is a leading Australian media and entertainment company. Its main business activities involve its free-to-air television business; digital publishing assets including its news and lifestyle verticals 9news.com.au and 9Honey; digital on-demand services including 9Now and Stan (50% JV); and television content production and distribution. In 2016/17 Nine turned over $1.28 billion, consisting of $1.1 billion in television revenue and $150 million in digital revenue.

Nine has more than 3500 employees across seven main offices, of which a significant proportion are involved in content production and distribution: as journalists, camerapersons, producers and editors. Journalism remains a key anchor of Nine’s business. While traditional news and current affairs journalism remains a key component of Nine’s content offering, the other content pillars of sport, entertainment and lifestyle journalism also have strong cultural value for Australians, and are necessarily a part of Nine’s content mix.

Each of Nine’s business activities involves content at its core, with a particular focus on distribution of premium content across multiple platforms to reach and engage a broader audience. Nine has a unique combination of assets: linear television, on-demand (both subscription and advertiser-based), as well as a broadening range of digital publishing properties. Nine is no longer just a traditional linear television broadcast business. Our success in the future will depend on our ability to transform to a cross-platform business model.' (Sub Appendix A, p 45)

NSW Business Chamber

'... the NSW Business Chamber (“the Chamber”) is one of Australia’s largest business support groups, with a direct membership of more than 20,000 businesses, providing services to over 30,000 businesses each year.

Tracing its heritage back to the Sydney Chamber of Commerce established in 1825, the Chamber works with thousands of businesses ranging in size from owner operators to large corporations, and spanning all industry sectors from product-based manufacturers to service provider enterprises.' (Sub p 2)

NSW Young Lawyers

'NSW Young Lawyers is a division of The Law Society of New South Wales. NSW Young Lawyers supports practitioners in their professional and career development in numerous ways, including by encouraging active participation in its 15 separate committees, each dedicated to particular areas of practice. Membership is automatic for all NSW lawyers (solicitors and barristers) under 36 years and/or in their first five years of practice, as well as law students. NSW Young Lawyers currently has over 15,000 members.

The Communications, Entertainment and Technology Law Committee (CET Committee) of NSW Young Lawyers aims to serve the interests of lawyers, law students and other members of the community concerned with areas of law relating to information and communication technology (including technology affecting legal practice), intellectual property; advertising and consumer protection; confidential information and privacy; entertainment; and the media. As innovation inevitably challenges custom, the CET Committee promotes forward thinking, particularly about the shape of the law and the legal profession as a whole.' (Sub p 1)

Obesity Policy Coalition

'The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is a partnership between the Cancer Council of Victoria, Diabetes Victoria and the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity, with support from VicHealth. The OPC advocates for evidencebased policy interventions and research to address the high rates of overweight, obesity and unhealthy diets in Australia, particularly in children.' (Sub p 2)

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Submission also available from OAIC website

'The OAIC is a key advisory body on privacy and information management, drawing on our domestic and international networks to shape how organisations and Australian government agencies (APP entities) harness emerging technologies and data practices to improve the lives of Australians. Central themes in the Privacy Act—such as transparency, choice and control for individuals and accountability for APP entities—are intended to support individuals in making decisions about their personal information, and to ensure APP entities protect personal information and are accountable for how it is handled.' (sub p 1)

oOh!media

'oOh! is one of the leading operators in Australia and New Zealand’s fast-growing Out Of Home advertising industry. We create deep engagement between people and brands through Unmissable location-based media solutions. We have a diverse portfolio of classic and digital signs, across roadside, retail, airport and place based media, in CBD office towers, cafés, fitness venues, bars and universities'.

'oOh! owns Junkee Media Australia (Junkee Media), a leading youth publication network, which employs 20 fulltime writers, journalists, editors and videographers, and uses 150 freelance contributors.'

'We combine this reach with location data, research insights and world leading digital innovation, integrating our physical inventory with experiential, social and mobile online channels, to provide clients with greater connections with consumers.' (Sub p 1)

New submission (11 May)Oracle (June2018)

 

New submission (11 May)Oracle Submission 2 (Sept 2018)

 

Outdoor Media Association

'The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) is the peak national industry body representing the majority of Australia’s Out of Home (OOH) media display and media production companies, as well as some media display asset owners. The OMA advocates for reasonable, evidence-based regulation.' (Sub p 1)

Post Newspapers

Post Newspapers Pty Ltd is 'a group of suburban newspapers operating between the cities of Perth and Fremantle.' (Sub p 1)

Post Newspapers argues that 'The problem is simple: Journalists are being paid by their employers to provide original news coverage. Yet the platforms pay nothing to re-use it, and to add insult to injury, make enormous profits by selling advising content that accompanies the cost-free (to them) journalism they publish. At the same time the big digital platforms are hollowing-out the advertising content of conventional publishers, the advertising revenue used to pay journalists. The end result could well be that independent journalism is so diminished that real, verified information the public needs for our democracy to function will dangerously diminish in both quantity and quality, if it has not already done so.' (Sub p 1)

REA Group Ltd

REA operates an Austarlian digital property listings platform.

'REA is a Melbourne-based, multinational digital advertising company specialising in property. REA's core business involves advertising properties on behalf of real estate agents and providing a platform for property seekers to search for properties by reference to criteria such as listing type, property type, price, location and features.' (sub p 5)

Rosa Walden

Private submission - based on expereinces as consumer and digital tutor with community agencies. Expresses some concern that scope of inquiry is too limited (concerned about lost opportunity to assess consumer impacts, especially those of 'less digitally literate consumers')

Screen Producers Australia

'Screen Producers Australia was formed by the screen industry to represent large and small enterprises across a diverse production slate of feature film, television and interactive content.

As the peak industry and trade body, we consult with a membership of more than 450 production businesses in the preparation of our submissions. This consultation is augmented by ongoing discussions with our elected Council and appointed Policy Working Group representatives. Our members employ over 17,000 Australians and drive more than $1.7 billion worth of annual production activity from the independent sector. ...'

Seven West Media

'2.1 Seven West Media is one of Australia’s leading integrated media companies, with a portfolio of world class television, publishing and digital properties.

2.2 The Seven Network is Australia’s most-watched television network, with five broadcast channels (7, 7TWO, 7Mate, 7flix and racing.com) in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and regional Queensland. It is home to many of Australia’s most popular programs including My Kitchen Rules, House Rules, Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and Sunrise, along with key sporting events including the AFL, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Regional affiliates broadcast Seven content across New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania

2.3 Our TV production business, Seven Studios, is one of the country’s largest producers of Australian content, and one of the only significant producers of Australian content that is Australian owned. Seven commissions, creates and produces around 700 hours of programming a year.

2.4 Seven News is the highest rating TV news service in Australia. ...

2.5 The West Australian and The Sunday Times are the number one news brands in WA.

2.6 Pacific Magazines is Australia’s best performing magazine publisher and home to three of the top six highest reaching magazines in the country - Better Homes and Gardens, New Idea and that’s life!.

2.7 Seven West Media has a strong online presence for each of its television, newspaper and magazine brands, as well as stand alone digital properties such as Perthnow.com.au, thegame.com.au and beautycrew.com.au. Seven recently ended its joint venture with Yahoo!7 after 11 years to pursue its own digital strategy, including the launch of online streaming platform 7Plus.' (sub p 4)

Submission argues: 'It is SWM's submission that both Google and Facebook enjoy significant market power in the markets for search services and social media platforms respectively. Unconstrained by competitors; countervailing customer/buyer power; and regulation, Google and Facebook use their market power in their respective markets to engage in conduct which negatively impacts traditional media, and which harm consumers.' (Sub para 1.4)

New submission (11 May)Simon M (published 11 May)

Submission takes the form of a series of communications reported to the GG's Cyber Emergency Response Team in 2017.

Simon Thompson

Australian Lawyer and qualified solicitor in England and Wales. Worked at tech and internet focussed startups in Europe and completing masters thesis on 'the effective regulation of data centric online platforms'.

Southern Cross Austereo

'SCA is a leading Australian media and entertainment company, with the ability to reach more than 95% of the Australian population through its audio (radio, radio-related websites and podcasts) and television businesses.' (sub p 1)

Special Broadcasting Service

'... as Australia’s multicultural and Indigenous public broadcaster, SBS is more critical now than ever to building understanding and cohesion in our society. ...

SBS reaches almost 100 per cent of the population through its six free-to-air TV channels (SBS, SBS HD, SBS VICELAND, SBS VICELAND HD, Food Network and National Indigenous Television (NITV)) and eight radio stations (SBS Radio 1, 2 3 and 4, SBS Arabic24, SBS PopDesi, SBS Chill and SBS PopAsia). Engagement is being significantly extended through SBS’s digital services, including SBS On Demand and portals which make online audio programming and information available in nearly 70 languages other than English.' (sub p 2)

New submission (11 May)Special Broadcasting Service (revised) (published 11 May)

Revised submission May 2018. Submission itself still dated April and on quick run-through I could not identify the change; file size is different though and this version replaces the original posted version rather than appearing as a separate file.

Stan

'Stan is the country’s leading local SVOD service and is at the forefront of changing how Australians consume video content. Stan’s interest in the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry revolves around the issue of content piracy. Stan invests significant amounts of money in original productions and licensed content, for which we either own or license the intellectual property. This content forms the basis of Stan’s business model. Stan is also owned by two of Australia’s biggest content creators in Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. We have a first-hand view of how harmful piracy is to the content industry and, therefore, to the quality of content itself.' (sub p 1 of 1)

New submission (11 May)Teresa K (published 11 May)

Brief submission relating to Oasis dating website

New submission (11 May)Tony Healy (published 11 May)
Software engineer (no further information published)

Brief submission addressing questions 1.2 (other platforms), 3.5 (market power) and 3.36 (new laws for digital platforms). Suggests 'explicit bans on deliberate data-driven manipulation of users', development of 'standard privacy schema' and 'holding digital platforms accountable for complying with data laws, at the board level, with financial sanctions'.

Twitter

'As a public, real-time platform, Twitter is where people can see every side of a topic, discover news, share their perspectives, and engage in conversation. Twitter was founded upon a set of core values that continue to guide us as we develop as a company. Among those values are defending and respecting the user’s voice and a two-part commitment to freedom of expression and privacy.

Twitter’s purpose is to keep the world informed by serving the public conversation and supporting a free and independent media as a matter of public interest. We celebrate journalism and believe strongly in the importance of a rich media ecosystem where consumers have variety, quality, and choice in news.' (Sub p 2 of 7)

Victoria Fielding

PhD candidate in Political Communications and Media at University of South Australia

Vision Australia

'Vision Australia is the largest national provider of services to people who are blind, deaf blind, or have low vision in Australia. We are formed through the merger of several of Australia’s most respected and experienced blindness and low vision agencies, celebrating our 150th year of operation in 2017.

Our vision is that people who are blind, deafblind, or have low vision will increasingly be able to choose to participate fully in every facet of community life. To help realise this goal, we provide high-quality services to the community of people who are blind, have low vision, are deafblind or have a print disability, and their families.' (Sub p 5 of 5)

Walkley Foundation

'The Walkley Foundation is at the heart of the Australian media. We recognise and promote excellence in our craft. We advocate for great journalism. The Walkleys is a well-regarded and respected brand within both the industry and the public mind....

The Walkley Foundation now partners with not only traditional media industry players but also the start-ups, both global and local, that have entered the Australian journalism field over the last 10 years. The Foundation remains an independent umbrella industry body that works with all media organisations including Fairfax, News Corp, Sky, Channel Ten, Nine Network, SBS, Seven West Media, the ABC, The Conversation, The Guardian, The New York Times Australia, BuzzFeed Australia, Crikey, Mamamia, Schwartz Media, Junkee, Vice, Pedestrian TV, Mumbrella, Broadsheet, Griffith Review, The Newcastle Herald, the Community Broadcasters Association of Australia, The Weekly Times and more' (Sub pp 2-3)

Consumer questionnarie

On 11 May the ACCC also published 170 pages of responses to submissions in relation to their consumer questionnaire (this appears in the list of other submissions in alphabetical order under the file name 'Consumer Questionnaire Responses (February - April 2018)'

280 reponses were received. Where responses were provided directly in relation to questions 2-8 the answers are set out in the ACCC's collated document (with some editing to remove identification or which the ACCC regarded as 'potentially defamatory or libellous'. Other responses were collated in the summary report, which includes a series of bar charts - for example:

Source: 'ACCC, Consumer Questionnaire Responses (February - April 2018), published and accessed on 11 May 2018 (reproduced under CC BY 3.0 AU licence, (c) Commonwealth of Australia)

 

Public forums

On 3 May the ACCC announced that the following public forums would be held:

  • For consumers: Tuesday 29 May (Melbourne)
  • For business (including advertisers): Wednesday 30 May (Melbourne)
  • For journalists: August (date TBC) (Sydney)

 

Media and commentary

ACCC media releases and speeches

Government media release

Academic commentary

Law firm commentary

Media following release of preliminary report

Paul Wallbank, 'Does breaking up Google make sense?' (Mumbrella, 13 March 2019)

Chanticleer, 'Rupert Murdoch steps up anti-Google campaign' (Chanticleer, 12 March 2019)

Emily Watkins, 'Media players jostle for control in digital platforms inquiry' (Crikey, 5 March 2019)

'Google rejects ACCC call for scrutiny, denies market power' (IT news, staff writer, 5 March 2019)

Cat Fredenburgh, 'Google, US groups slam ACCC's digital platforms report' (Layerly, 4 March 2019)

Jennifer Duke and John McDuling, 'Australian regulators prepare for Facebook, Google turf war' (SMH, 4 March 2019)

Vanessa Mitchell, 'Google hits back at ACCC, says algorithm regulator risks poor outcomes' (CMO, 21 February 2019)

Orlaith Costello, 'Google hits back at ACCC' (Channel news, 22 Feb 2019)

Charles McConnell, 'ACCC should reconsider competitive landscape, Google says' (GCR, 21 February 2019).

Google Australia, Our response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry Preliminary Report' (21 February 2019)

Simon Milner, 'How can Facebook best support sustainable journalism in Australia?' (Facebook, 18 February 2019).

Jennifer Duke, ''People not regulators should decide': Facebook slams calls for crackdown' (The Age, 18 February 2019)

John McDuling, 'How Australia could make Facebook's miserable year even worse' (SMH, 10 December 2018)

Jennifer Duke & John McDuling, 'Tech giants face call for ombudsman, privacy clampdown' (Brisbane Times, 10 December 2018)

Max Mason, 'Google, Facebook face data privacy crackdown under ACCC recommendations' (AFR, 10 December 2018)

Chris Pash, 'The ACCC wants to regulate the substantial power of Google and Facebook in Australia' (Business Insider, 10 December 2018)

Belinda Tasker, 'ACCC calls for crackdown on tech giants' (Norther Daily Leader, 10 December 2018)

Sarah-Jane Tasker, 'Tech titans face crackdown' (The Australian, 10 December 2018, page 2)

Media following release of issues paper (and related submission)

John McDuling, 'It's crunch time for tech giants, as ACCC probe enters home stretch' (SMH, 3 December 2018)

Anne Davies, 'World watches as Australian regulator rules on Facebook and Google' (The Guardian, 3 December 2018)

Lilly Vitorovitch, 'ACCC signs off on probe of tech giants' platforms' (The Australian, 3 December 2018, p 26).

John McDuling, 'All eyes on Australian review as Facebook wheels out big guns' (SMH, 15 October 2018)

Anthony Fitzgerald, 'Big Tech hits news media - TV next?' (AFR, 3 June 2018)

James Panichi and Laurel Henning, 'Xerox’s boardroom scuffle set to continue; Australian media’s Facebook fracas' (mLex Podcast, 9 May 2018) (18:55 mins - mainly from 7:15 mins)

Paul Wallbank, 'Government regulation of digital platforms would be a dangerous mistake, warns publisher Morry Schwartz' (Mumbrella, 8 May 2018)

Stephen Brook, 'Digital media inquiry: Google and Facebook ‘creating despair' (The Australian, 4 May 2018)

James Panichi, 'Facebook, Google probe unleashes Australian media's fury over algorithms' (mLex, 4 May 2018)

Agence France-Presse, 'News Corp leads charge against tech giants in Australia probe' (ABS-CBN News, 3 May 2018)

John Rolfe, 'More submissions to the ACCC inquiry on Facebook, Google and Twitter’s use and misuse consumers’ personal information' (Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2018)

Darren Davidson, 'Industry response to digital inquiry' (The Australian, 3 May 2018)

Jennifer Duke, 'News Corp slams digital giants for 'rapid spread of misinformation'' (SMH, 3 May 2018)

Max Mason, 'Google, Facebook distorting advertising markets, ACCC told' (AFR, 3 May 2018)

Darren Davidson, 'ACCC to reveal submissions into Google and Facebook' (The Australian, 2 May 2018)

Jennifer Duke & John McDuling, 'Murdoch's News Corp to take aim at Google and Facebook' (SMH, 2 May 2018)

Max Mason, 'Google helping publishers, Facebook 'less progress': Fairfax Media' (AFR, 2 May 2018)

Jennifer Duke and John McDuling, 'Google defends role in media amid ACCC probe' (SMH, 23 April 2018)

Darren Davidson, 'Seven takes battle to tech giants' (The Australian, 23 April 2018)

Arvind Hickman, 'TV industry calls for mandatory third-party measurement of Facebook and Google' (AdNews, 23 April 2018)

Amanda Meade, 'Google tells Australian regulator it is not contributing to 'the death of journalism'' (The Guardian, 23 April 2018)

Paul Wallbank, 'Facebook and FreeTV Australia draw battle lines over ACCC digital platforms inquiry' (Mumbrella, 23 April 2018)

Tony Boyd, 'Facebook parries ad market "dominance" claims' (AFR, 22 April 2018)

John McDuling, 'The disconnect beneath Facebook's month from hell' (SHM, 22 April 2018)

Amanda Meade, 'Facebook and Google must be held to account, TV networks say' (The Guardian, 21 April 2018)

Amanda Meade, 'Google says it supports ACCC inquiry into digital threat to Australian news media' (The Guardian, 21 March 2018)

Mark Day, 'All eyes on ACCC inquiry into tech giants' (The Australian, 2 March 2018)

Michael Miller, 'Google, Facebook and Amazon blight digital landscape' (The Australian, 27 February 2018)

Darren Davidson, 'Google, Facebook in sights of ACCC for harvesting users’ personal data' (The Australian, 26 February 2018)

Darren Davidson, 'World watching ACCC inquiry into dominant tech platforms' (The Australian, 26 February 2018)

Jennifer Duke, 'Facebook, Google to be probed over role in creating ‘filter bubbles’' (SMH, 26 February 2018)

Max Mason, 'ACCC to probe how Facebook, Google hurt quality journalism' (AFR, 26 February 2018)

Amanda Meade, 'ACCC will have power to grill Google and Facebook on threat to news media' (The Guardian, Australian edition, 26 February 2018)

John Rolfe, 'Facebook and Google aren’t free, ACCC chairman Rod Sims says' (Perth Now, 26 February 2018)

Media following release of terms of reference

Media prior to release of terms of reference