ACCC publishes submissions in digital platforms inquiry


Nearly 60 associations and commissions, media houses and brands have submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms inquiry, it was revealed today.

The consumer watchdog launched its inquiry into better understanding the potentially detrimental impact digital and social giants such as Google and Facebook are having on media and advertising competition in the Australian market last December. The inquiry, was prompted by treasurer, Scott Morrison, and published an issues paper on 26 February seeking feedback on the power of digital platforms from across the industry.

Specifically, the ACCC is being asked to investigate the extent to which platform service providers are exercising market power in commercial dealings with the creators of media content as well as advertisers; their impact on the level of choice and quality of news and journalistic content available to Australians; and the impact of information asymmetry, including innovation and technological change, on competition in the media and advertising sector.

After closing the window for submissions on 26 April, the ACCC published all 57 submissions received on its website today. The list is a who’s who of Australian media brands, such as Fairfax, Commercial Radio Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), Network Ten, Southern Cross Austereo, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Stan, Foxtel, Australian Associated press and the Australian Radio Network.

Also well represented are associations from across the advertising and media spectrum. In its submission to the ACCC, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) said it welcomed the opportunity to participate in the inquiry and highlighted its self-regulatory system for media and marketing communication in this country.

Technology change offers improvements for traditional media offerings, and the AANA listed a number of advantages of digital advertising options including large audience reach and targeting, cost efficiencies and engaging formats. But there’s no doubt the power of the digital goliaths is impacting the ability to capture advertising revenue, the AANA stated in its submission.

“There has been a shift of advertiser dollars from traditional to digital media. Within the digital media category, while there are alternatives to major digital platforms, the scale of the dominant platforms cannot be ignored by advertisers,” the statement read.

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