Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Directions/Other as made
This instrument directs the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner to hold a price inquiry into the markets for the supply of digital platform services.
Administered by: Treasury
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s11 item 03
Registered 14 Feb 2020
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR24-Feb-2020
Tabled Senate24-Feb-2020
Table of contents.

 

Competition and Consumer (Price Inquiry—Digital Platforms) Direction 2020

I, Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer, give the following direction to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Dated: 10 February 2020

 

Josh Frydenberg

Treasurer

 

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                      1

1  Name........................................................................................................................................ 1

2  Commencement........................................................................................................................ 1

3  Authority.................................................................................................................................. 1

4  Definitions................................................................................................................................ 1

Part 2—Price inquiry into supply of digital platform services                                  3

5  Commission to hold an inquiry................................................................................................ 3

6  Directions on matters to be taken into consideration in the inquiry........................................... 3

7  Directions as to holding of the inquiry..................................................................................... 4

8  Period for completing the inquiry............................................................................................. 4

 


Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Name

                   This instrument is the Competition and Consumer (Price Inquiry—Digital Platforms) Direction 2020.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this instrument specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this instrument

The day after this instrument is registered.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this instrument as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this instrument.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this instrument. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this instrument.

3  Authority

                   This instrument is made under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

4  Definitions

Note:       Expressions have the same meaning in this instrument as in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 as in force from time to time—see paragraph 13(1)(b) of the Legislation Act 2003.

                   In this instrument:

Australian law means a law of the Commonwealth, a State, or a Territory (whether written or unwritten).

data broker means a supplier who collects personal or other information on persons, and sells this information to, or shares this information with, others.

digital content aggregation platform means an online system that collects information from disparate sources and presents it to consumers as a collated, curated product in which users may be able to customise or filter their aggregation, or to use a search function.

digital platform services means any of the following:

                     (a)  internet search engine services (including general search services and specialised search services);

                     (b)  social media services;

                     (c)  online private messaging services (including text messaging; audio messaging and visual messaging);

                     (d)  digital content aggregation platform services;

                     (e)  media referral services provided in the course of providing one or more of the services mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d);

                      (f)  electronic marketplace services.

electronic marketplace services means a service (including a website, internet portal, gateway, store or marketplace) that:

                     (a)  facilitates the supply of goods or services between suppliers and consumers; and

                     (b)  is delivered by means of electronic communication; and

                     (c)  is not solely a carriage service (within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act 1997) or solely consisting of one of more of the following:

                              (i)  providing access to a payment system;

                             (ii)  processing payments.

exempt supply has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

goods has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

inquiry has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

services has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

State or Territory authority has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

supply has the meaning given by subsection 95A(1) of the Act.

the Act means the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Part 2Price inquiry into supply of digital platform services

  

5  Commission to hold an inquiry

             (1)  Under subsection 95H(1) of the Act, the Commission is required to hold an inquiry into the markets for the supply of digital platform services. The inquiry is not to extend to any of the following:

                     (a)  the supply of a good or service by a State or Territory authority;

                     (b)  the supply of a good or service that is an exempt supply;

                     (c)  reviewing the operation of any Australian law (other than the Act) relating to communications, broadcasting, media, privacy or taxation;

                     (d)  reviewing the operation of any program funded by the Commonwealth, or any policy of the Commonwealth (other than policies relating to competition and consumer protection).

             (2)  For the purposes of subsection 95J(1), the inquiry is to be held in relation to goods and services of the following descriptions:

                     (a)  digital platform services;

                     (b)  digital advertising services supplied by digital platform service providers;

                     (c)  data collection, storage, supply, processing and analysis services supplied by:

                              (i)  digital platform service providers; or

                             (ii)  data brokers.

             (3)  Under subsection 95J(2), the inquiry is not to be held in relation to the supply of goods and services by a particular person or persons.

6  Directions on matters to be taken into consideration in the inquiry

                   Under subsection 95J(6) of the Act, the Commission is directed to take into consideration all of the following matters in holding the inquiry:

                     (a)  the intensity of competition in the markets for the supply of digital platform services, with particular regard to:

                              (i)  the concentration of power in the markets amongst and between suppliers; and

                             (ii)  the behaviour of suppliers in the markets, including:

                                        (A)  the nature, characteristics and quality of the services they offer; and

                                        (B)  the pricing and other terms and conditions they offer to consumers and businesses; and

Example:  Terms and conditions relating to data collection and use.

                            (iii)  changes in the range of services offered by suppliers, and any associated impacts those changes had or may have on other markets; and

                            (iv)  mergers and acquisitions in the markets for digital platform services; and

                             (v)  matters that may act as a barrier to market entry, expansion or exit, and the extent to which those matters act as such a barrier;

                     (b)  practices of individual suppliers in the markets for digital platform services which may result in consumer harm, including supplier policies relating to privacy and data collection, management and disclosure;

                     (c)  market trends, including innovation and technology change, that may affect the degree of market power, and its durability, held by suppliers of digital platform services;

                     (d)  changes over time in the nature of, characteristics and quality of digital platform services arising from innovation and technological change;

                     (e)  developments in markets for the supply of digital platform services outside Australia.

7  Directions as to holding of the inquiry

             (1)  Under subsection 95J(6) of the Act, the Commission is directed to do the following in holding the inquiry:

                     (a)  regularly monitor the markets for the supply of digital platform services for changes in the markets, particularly focussing on the matters referred to in section 6 of this instrument; and

                     (b)  give to the Treasurer an interim report on the inquiry by 30 September 2020, and then further interim reports every 6 months thereafter, on:

                              (i)  any changes observed by the Commission in the markets since the last report; and

                             (ii)  any other matter, within the scope of the inquiry, the Commission believes appropriate.

             (2)  Under subsection 95P(3) of the Act, the Commission is directed not to make available for public inspection, copies of any interim report until the Treasurer, in writing, authorises the Commission to do so.

8  Period for completing the inquiry

                   For the purposes of subsection 95K(1) of the Act, the inquiry is to be completed, and a report on the matter of inquiry given to the Treasurer, by no later than 31 March 2025.