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ACCC probes consumer concerns, competition in the social-media market

Australian businesses and consumers are encouraged to share their views on social media services as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) prepares the sixth interim report in its Digital Platform Services Inquiry.

The commission will examine various “consumer protection issues” such as the state and degree of competition in these services, trends in mergers and acquisitions by social media platforms, the use and abuse of social media services for scams and the role of advertising services including display advertising, paid influencers and sponsored posts employed by businesses.

ACCC chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, said the regulatory body is interested in examining “trends” in user preferences and engagement over time.

“We are also eager to receive feedback on the barriers to entry and expansion for social media services in Australia, and if new entrants such as TikTok have changed the competitive landscape for social media services in Australia.”

Interested stakeholders are advised to submit their views to the commission by September 9. The final report will be submitted to the treasurer by March 31 next year.

This ACCC’s five-year Digital Platform Services Inquiry studies the broader market of supply of digital platform services such as internet search engine services, digital content aggregation platform services, online private messaging services, social media advertising and media referral services.

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