ACCC Commences Ad Tech Inquiry

ACCC Commences Ad Tech Inquiry
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg [feature image] has announced the commencement of two new inquiries into digital platforms as part of the government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.

After the ACCC’s initial 18-month Digital Platforms Inquiry, the government detailed its response to the findings in December 2019.

“The ACCC conducted an extensive and detailed inquiry over 18 months and provided the Government with a substantial Final Report setting out 23 recommendations to respond to the substantial market power that had arisen through the growth of digital platforms, their impact on competition, and implications for news media businesses, advertisers and consumers,” said Frydenberg.

“As part of the Government’s response to the ACCC’s report on 12 December 2019, the Government agreed that the ACCC will continue to inquire into digital platforms until 31 March 2025.”

In addition to the continued long-term inquiry into digital platforms, the ACCC will also conduct an 18-month inquiry into ad tech.

“The ad-tech inquiry will focus on technologies facilitating the supply of online advertising to Australian consumers,” Frydenberg said.

“These technologies gather information about consumers and use it to target them with highly personalised advertising. The inquiry will be completed by 31 August 2021, with an interim report to be released by 31 December 2020.”

The digital advertising inquiry will consider a host of factors, including:

  • the competitiveness and efficiency of markets for the supply of digital advertising technology services and digital advertising agency services
  • the availability to advertisers, publishers and other market participants of information on activities in those markets
  • the concentration of power in those markets
  • auction and bidding processes
  • the distribution of digital display advertising expenditure between publishers, digital advertising technology services providers and advertising agencies

The inquiry will mark one of the first orders of business for the Digital Platforms Branch within the ACCC, which was set up as a response to the Digital Platforms Inquiry.

The Branch is also set to review the advertising rules and restrictions across all delivery platforms and create a new legal framework for consumers and the industry.

 

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