The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry, which released its preliminary report yesterday, could be a game changer for journalism and media regulation in Australia. It is also of international significance: the ACCC has signalled its intention to work with the OECD and other international agencies to kickstart an international law-making effort to regulate Google, Facebook and their successors.
If this path is pursued, it could dramatically change how the digital media are shaping politics, society and democracy. It could match the mammoth effort that resulted in our system of copyright regulation.
But this is a big “if,” and success depends on whether the ACCC sticks to its guns and governments have the will to act. On the latter, recent history doesn’t inspire confidence.