Online marketplaces are performing an increasingly significant role in connecting Australian consumers and businesses and are an important link in building trust and confidence in the digital economy. A growing digital economy is key to securing Australia’s economic future.

Online marketplaces, like other digital platforms, rely on increasing the number of sellers and consumers to grow their business. Similar to other digital platforms examined by the ACCC, an online marketplace can increase its value to users through the presence of other users,1 creating a positive feedback loop that draws both more consumers and sellers to the marketplace. Accordingly, like many other digital platforms, this loop is a factor that could lead these services to ‘tip’ in favour of a single dominant firm.

General online retail marketplaces in Australia include, but are not limited to, Amazon, Catch, eBay and Kogan. They offer a wide variety of retail products and perform an increasingly important role in the economy, connecting consumers and sellers.

This report also identifies when the ACCC has identified a need for improvement in marketplace practices and areas where the ACCC will continue to consider the practices of online marketplaces.

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