ACCC launches Inquiry into Digital platforms eg Google

On the 4th of Dec the ACCC has launched an inquiry into the digital platforms such as Google and Facebook. The link to the media release is:

Terms of Reference can be accessed at this link:

OR is the direct download link.


So do I understand it correctly that the ACCC is more interested in the effects on businesses (poor, poor, Murdoch and Fairfax etc.), rather than the effects on consumers?


Oh I don’t think you missed the point of the exercise…I don’t like the way the market is shared but the way Murdoch & similar agencies use their weight to bend the market is just as bad as propaganda in my eyes (but I think Turnbull & Co love the “bias”). Though at least Fairfax paid tax here, not Murdoch’s News Corp business though.

From a news article “n 2015-16 on an Australian income of $2.9 billion…//…News Corporation was able to reduce its Australian taxable income to zero, meaning no tax was paid. Fairfax Media reported a taxable income of $89 million, paying tax at an effective rate of 18 per cent.”


A further News Article on the ACCC investigation:

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Here’s Consumer Action’s submission to the Final Report of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.


The ‘norm of fairness’.

One view point is that consumers have a choice, to opt in or go without?

That’s the free market at work. Of course many businesses have formed partnerships with the giants such as Google, Facebook, and others.

We still wonder if the EU has gone far enough and whether the ACCC will do any better.

We recently used a personal service provider who delivered good service and the required outcomes, promptly. We were asked if we wouldn’t mind leaving a review on their web page.

It is something that is not going to happen. The web service asked for our Google ID or Facebook ID and to log in to proceed. We have neither, and feel disinclined to change that status.

Is the requirement fair when the supposed outcome is leaving a review to the benefit of the supplier. Yes, we know that is how it works.

It’s not fair, and it is none of Boo’gles or Face’plants right to collect such identity data. True there is a need for reviewers to be real and reliable customers of the service provider. That is where the interest should end.

Will the proposals to the ACCC ensure individuals can provide reviews without exposing themselves to data collection and tracking? If not, statistically reviews will always be open to doubt and under suspicion of skewed results. Although that may already be the status quo?


An article regarding Facebook’s response to the inquiry.

It appears that they were merely helping people after all.

Move along folks. Nothing to see here.


Perhaps the solution or way forward lies in looking at enterprises that rely on digital platforms differently. Do we need new legal models to ensure accountability?

The EU recently made two opposing decisions on how Uber (transport booking services) and AirBNB (accommodation booking services) should be treated.

One possible outcome is businesses operating on digital platforms will seek operational solutions that make them less accountable for the services delivered.

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