Australia’s competition watchdog looks set to continue its action against tech giants Google and Facebook.
After releasing the long-awaited Digital Platforms Inquiry late in 2019, the ACCC has pursued the tech giants, most notably with the News Media Bargaining Code and more recently, with the inquiry into the digital advertising supply chain.
And the ACCC is not the only antitrust agency to investigate Google and Facebook.
The FTC in the US recently launched two antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, which challenged the social media giant’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
Last week, a Washington federal judge dismissed the two lawsuits, suggesting there was not enough evidence.
However, there is now a suggestion the FTC may look to international counterparts, such as the ACCC, to help bring more decisive action to tech companies.
Speaking to the AFR, ACCC chair Rod Sims said the Australian agency is gathering evidence to launch action against tech giants alongside counterparts in Europe, Britain, the US and Canada.
“In the next six to 18 months, a lot will change in terms of how those abuses are dealt with,” Sims said.
“There is an extraordinary amount of market power: self preferencing, markets that aren’t transparent, very high charges and rent extraction.
“We can take enforcement action or make recommendations to government about what legislation might be needed. We’re working very closely with international colleagues. It’s a very important bit of work.”
Last month the EU announced it was investigating Google over its advertising technology and potential antitrust concerns.
“The formal investigation will notably examine whether Google is distorting competition by restricting access by third parties to user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for its own use,” the EU said in a release.
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