ACCC mulls forcing Google to offer users a choice of browse…


Tech giants such as Google and Facebook could face major new regulations under a range of preliminary proposals released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as part of its ‘digital platforms’ inquiry.

The ACCC said it was considering recommending that 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)”. It said it may also recommend that browser-makers offer consumers options for search engines rather than a default search engine.

“The ACCC considers that where options for internet browsers and search engines are presented, no option should be pre-selected,” the ACCC’s preliminary report stated.

The competition regulator said “customer inertia” was acting as a restraint to expansion of the search services market.

“This customer inertia is reinforced and facilitated by the default bias that results from Google Search being the default search engine on a number of internet browsers and mobile operating systems,” the report states.

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