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ACCC to expand analysis of digital platform ecosystems

In a bid to understand the expanding reach of digital platform service providers, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is set to examine their role as part of a detailed study.

Large digital platform services providers such as Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft collect and invest heavily in products and services within each ecosystem.

An interim report by the regulator aims to understand how expansion strategies used by these providers “affected” the interoperability of products and services across ecosystems leaving consumers in lock-in behaviours or other conduct like bundling, tying or self-preferencing to inhibit competition.

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said as consumers and businesses are increasingly reliant on the products and services offered by digital platforms it’s “crucial to examine” how these companies are expanding their reach.

“Large digital platforms have become an integral part of our daily lives, they have access to enormous user databases and personal information across their ecosystems.

“Interconnected products, like smart home devices and cloud storage solutions, can provide consumers with a seamless experience that simplifies everyday tasks, but it’s important that competition and consumers are not harmed as digital platforms invest across different sectors and technologies and expand their reach,” she said.

The regulator also seeks submissions from consumers, businesses and stakeholders to understand the impacts of the interconnectedness of the services.

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