Discussion paper

Discussion paper for interim report no. 5: updating competition and consumer law for digital platform services

Digital Platform Services Inquiry
Competition law Consumer protection Competition regulation Regulatory standards Digital platforms Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been examining competition and consumer issues associated with digital platforms since late 2017. During this time, the largest digital platforms have continued to grow, expanding their ecosystems and their impact on the economy and our day-to-day lives.

The ACCC has growing concerns that enforcement under existing competition and consumer protection legislation, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which by its nature takes a long time and is directed towards very specific issues, is insufficient to address the breadth of concerns arising in relation to rapidly changing digital platform services.

In light of these concerns and given that this is the half-way point of the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the ACCC considers this is an appropriate time to assess whether Australia’s current competition and consumer protection laws, including merger laws, are sufficient to address the competition and consumer harms that have been identified in relation to digital platform services.

The ACCC will present its views on these matters and whether any change is needed in the Digital Platform Services Inquiry Interim Report No. 5, due to be provided to the Treasurer in September 2022.

This discussion paper will inform the Digital Platform Services Inquiry Interim Report No. 5 and seeks stakeholder views on the effectiveness of existing competition and consumer law in relation to these services and, if change is needed, possible options for reform.

Submissions close Friday 1 April 2022.

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