Australia

Australian approach to digital markets

Relevant legislation

The legislation governing competition in digital markets is the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the Act), which is the competition law framework that applies economy-wide in Australia. In addition to competition law, the Act also contains:

  • the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which covers consumer protection issues; and
  • in March 2021, the Act was amended to include the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code (the News Media Bargaining Code), intended to address bargaining power imbalances between news media businesses and certain designated digital platforms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the independent government agency responsible for enforcing the Act in Australia. With a few exceptions (such as small administrative fines under the ACL and the grant of exemptions), the ACCC is not a determinative body and must apply to the Federal Court of Australia to seek orders enforcing the Act. The Act gives the ACCC standing to do so and powers to seek penalties and injunctions in Court.

There are currently no special rules or exemptions applying to digital markets (though, as noted below, this is currently the subject of debate in Australia).

The Act gives the ACCC the power to conduct an inquiry into markets or undertake price monitoring activities at the direction of the Australian Treasurer. Once directed, the Act gives the ACCC compulsory information gathering powers (including documents, information, and testimony) to allow it to report on and make recommendations to the government on matters of competition and broader policy. Inquiries may also result in ACCC enforcement action. This power has been used to examine digital markets in three separate inquiries (one ongoing): the Digital Platforms Inquiry 2017–2019 (DPI), the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry 2020–2021 (Ad Tech Inquiry), and the Digital Platform Services Inquiry 2020–2025 (DPSI).

Structure of the ACCC

The ACCC has a number of divisions, including the Mergers, Exemptions and Digital Division. Within that division is the Digital Platforms Branch, which is responsible for the ongoing scrutiny of digital platform markets through conducting its digital inquiries. The Digital Platforms Branch also works with other units within the ACCC on specific matters, for example the Merger Investigations Branch (responsible for merger control) and the Competition Division (responsible for competition law enforcement).

Cooperation with other regulators with respect to digital competition enforcement

The ACCC actively cooperates with international competition agencies with respect to digital enforcement:

  • In July 2021, the ACCC announced it was working with competition regulators in Europe, the US and Canada to gather evidence of misuse of market power by Facebook and Google. The ACCC has not taken any proceedings against a digital platform for a breach of restrictive trade practices, but has for breaches of the ACL.
  • In September 2020, the ACCC signed a memorandum of understanding with competition regulators in the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand to share intelligence, case theories and investigative techniques. The ACCC announced that cooperation was needed to better coordinate investigations across international borders, as the global economy is increasingly interconnected and many large companies, especially in digital markets, operate internationally.

Key developments to date

ACCC inquiries and advocacy in digital markets

Over the past four years, the ACCC has conducted three key inquiries in relation to digital platforms: the DPI, the DPSI and the Ad Tech Inquiry.

The primary purpose of these inquiries is to examine digital markets and make any relevant findings or recommendations to the federal government. The inquiries also present an opportunity for the ACCC to proactively monitor digital markets and develop institutional capabilities in digital markets. They may also result in enforcement actions.

DPI report

In July 2019, the ACCC published the DPI report following its Digital Platforms Inquiry. The DPI report was the ACCC’s first substantive inquiry into digital markets, particularly focused on the impact that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms have on competition in media and advertising services markets.

The DPI report has played a major role in shaping the future direction of the legal framework relating to competition in, and regulation of, digital markets, including by:

  • recommending subsequent inquiries into digital markets – the Ad Tech Inquiry and the DPSI (a five-year monitoring inquiry across many sectors of the digital economy);
  • establishing the specialist digital platforms branch within the ACCC;
  • introducing the News Media Bargaining Code. The Code intends to address bargaining power imbalances between news media businesses and digital platforms by setting standard obligations for registered news businesses to bargain individually or collectively with designated digital platforms, and providing a compulsory arbitration process where an agreement cannot be reached. To date, the government has not designated any digital platforms, with Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stating that the high-profile commercial deals between news media businesses and Google and Facebook ‘changes the equation’ in deciding whether it is necessary to designate a platform;
  • introducing a review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act), proposed amendments to the Unfair Contract Terms regime of the Act, proposed changes to the merger laws and the implementation of a code of practice on disinformation and misinformation; and
  • flagging multiple investigations, which have since resulted in three consumer law enforcement actions commenced by the ACCC against Google and Facebook.

The ACCC’s DPI report also identifies conduct specific to digital markets that it considers as anticompetitive. The identified conduct is consistent with conduct that has been investigated and prosecuted in international jurisdictions.[2]

Most of the ACCC’s recommendations have been accepted by the government and a roadmap to advance the recommendations from the DPI report is in place.[3]

DPSI

Following the DPI report, the government directed the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into markets for the supply of digital platform services (DPSI), in particular: search engines, social media, online private messaging, digital content aggregation, media referral services and electronic marketplaces. The ACCC was tasked with investigating: the intensity of competition in these markets; practices that may result in consumer harm; market trends that may affect the degree of market power and the durability of that market power; changes to the nature of these services arising from innovation; and technological change and developments in markets outside of Australia.

The government directed the ACCC to provide interim reports on the inquiry every six months for five years, and a final report is due on 31 March 2025. To date, the DPSI has published two interim reports and announced the focus area for the following two interim reports.

The first interim report examined competition, consumer and privacy issues associated with online private messaging, and to a lesser extent search services and social media. Key findings of this report were that Facebook and Apple are the two largest suppliers of stand-alone online private messaging in Australia, Facebook has a competitive advantage relative to alternative standalone services which Apple cannot constrain and Apple has a degree of freedom from competitive constraint over Apple users (limited by Facebook). This first DPSI report also reinforced the recommendations made in the DPI report, with a continued focus on power imbalances leading to unfair contract terms, and data collection practices (including around improved consumer choice and control), tracking and privacy in relation to these services.

The second interim report examined app marketplaces (primarily Apple App Store and Google Play store). The ACCC found that Apple and Google operate a global duopoly in the market for mobile operating systems and this provides them with significant market power in the market for app marketplaces. The ACCC identified that a lack of competitive constraint allows both platforms to charge 15 to 30 per cent commission rates for in-app purchases. The ACCC put forward a set of interim measures that Apple and Google could implement to address the concerns raised in the report and indicated it will continue to monitor and explore these issues (including overseas developments) and will revisit these concerns (and whether there is a need for regulation) in a later interim report.

The third interim report (due to the Australian Treasurer on 30 September 2021) will consider web browsers and search services and the fourth interim report (due to the Australian Treasurer on 31 March 2022) will examine online retail marketplaces. The ACCC has also indicated that the fifth interim report will consider, to some extent, its proposal for reforms to the merger clearance process for acquisitions by digital platforms, as discussed below.

Ad Tech Inquiry

Following the DPI Report, the ACCC was directed to commence the Ad Tech Inquiry, which examined markets for the supply of digital advertising technology services and digital advertising agency services. These services are both concerned with personalised digital display advertising on websites or apps, namely advertisements that are shown before or alongside online content, as distinct from search advertising or classified advertising.

As part of the Ad Tech Inquiry, the ACCC considered the level of transparency in auction and bidding processes in online advertising and supplier behaviour (including vertically integrated suppliers offering ad tech services and ad agency services).

The Ad Tech Inquiry interim report was published in January 2021. The interim report made clear that the ACCC is concerned about Google’s high market shares in each of the four markets analysed across the advertising technology services supply chain and sought feedback on proposals aimed at addressing concerns about low levels of competition in the supply of ad tech services (e.g., header bidding and automated algorithms in bidding decisions), conflicts of interest, self-preferencing and supply chain opacity.

The ACCC did not make any recommendations in the interim report. However, it:

  • observed the issues identified are similar to those being litigated in the US alleging monopolisation in a range of ad tech markets; and
  • indicated it was investigating contraventions of the Act related to self-­preferencing (which, as discussed below, led to action being taken under the ACL).

The final report was due to the Treasurer on 31 August 2021. As at the date of writing, the final report is not yet publicly available.

PJC inquiry

On 25 March 2021, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services began an inquiry into mobile payment and digital wallet financial services (PJC inquiry).

The PJC inquiry has sought to understand concerns in mobile payment and digital wallet financial services from both the sector and independent government agencies like the ACCC, market regulator (ASIC), banking regulator (APRA) and central bank (RBA), without a clear policy or legislative agenda.

The ACCC’s testimony to the Joint Committee accepted concerns with Apple’s conduct with respect to its restriction of access to third party digital wallets to the Near Field Communication technology (NFC) used on Apple devices to facilitate contactless payments. The ACCC noted issues associated with self-preferencing by Apple; as well as issues associated with Apple controlling an essential gateway for digital payment commerce.

Enforcement actions

ACCC actions

The ACCC has not taken action against a digital platform alleging breaches of the competition law provisions of the Act.

The ACCC has taken action against digital platforms under the ACL in circumstances where it has alleged that consumers have been misled about digital platform’s data collection practices, including:

  • on 29 October 2019, the ACCC commenced enforcement action against Google alleging misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to Google’s communication to consumers on the collection and use of location data. On 16 April 2021, the Federal Court found in favour of the ACCC and held that Google misled consumers, with penalties yet to be determined;
  • on 27 July 2020, the ACCC commenced action against Google alleging misleading or deceptive conduct around Google’s use of consumers’ personal data;
  • on 16 December 2020, the ACCC commenced proceedings against Facebook for misleading consumers as to the use of their personal activity data in its Onavo VPN app; and
  • on 7 August 2019, the ACCC commenced proceedings against HealthEngine for misleading consumers about the use of their data. On 20 August 2020, the Federal Court ordered by consent that HealthEngine pay A$2.9 million in penalties for engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

The ACCC identified competition and consumer issues relating to digital platforms as one of its 2021 compliance and enforcement priorities, with the ACCC chair Rod Sims stating ‘we will continue to advance our investigations into the practices of digital platforms in 2021, and some more cases will follow.’[4]

ACCC consideration of transactions in digital markets

Section 50 of the Act prohibits mergers that have the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition. The ACCC has an informal merger clearance process and formal merger authorisation process. The ACCC does not itself have the power to block an acquisition, however, it can bring an action in the Federal Court to prevent an acquisition it considers breaches Section 50 of the Act. If a transaction completes and the ACCC successfully brings an action against the parties, the Court may order divestiture of assets. This framework governs all mergers, including transactions involving digital platforms. The vast majority of mergers are reviewed within the informal merger clearance framework.

The ACCC’s last opposition of a merger of two online businesses was in relation to Carsales.com’s proposed acquisition of the Trading Post on 20 December 2012, in the context of online car classifieds.[5]

In Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit, the ACCC did not reach a decision before the deal ultimately completed in January 2021. In June 2020, the ACCC raised a number of competition concerns in its statement of issues (SOI). In the SOI, the ACCC defined data relevant markets by reference to the potential commercial use of the data being aggregated (as opposed to any actual competitive overlap in that commercial use).

In response, Google offered court enforceable undertakings which were ultimately rejected by the ACCC. Google proposed a number of behavioural remedies to address the ACCC’s concerns about data aggregation by restricting the ways in which Google would use Fitbit data. To date, the ACCC has not taken any enforcement action in relation to the parties closing the deal, but the ACCC indicated that it will continue a post-completion review.

In digital markets, the ACCC’s authorisation process has been used to obtain antitrust immunity agreements between competitors that may otherwise breach the Act. The ACCC:

  • in August 2021, granted authorisation to members of Country Press Australia, a collection of independent regional and local newspapers, to collectively bargain with Facebook and Google concerning payments for producing content featured on those platforms;
  • in March 2017, denied granting authorisation to several Australian banks who sought to collectively bargain with and boycott Apple in relation to access to Apple’s iPhone NFC controller; and
  • in March 2016, allowed ihail Pty Ltd, a joint venture between a number of taxi companies and other participants, to launch its ihail smartphone taxi booking app.

Private enforcement

Private enforcement supplements the role of the ACCC in enforcing the provisions of the Act. These actions often allow for a faster resolution for the parties involved (i.e., injunctive or real time relief) as opposed to ex post investigation by the ACCC. Similar to ACCC enforcement proceedings, private actions can also have wider implications for the broader community (e.g., by deterring or prohibiting monopolistic behaviour) and contribute to the development of the relevant law (e.g., findings of the court in private enforcement actions will add to the jurisprudence for the relevant provisions).

In 2017, the legislative framework surrounding private enforcement (and competition law more generally) was amended. This change clarified that admissions of fact in one proceeding (e.g., in proceedings brought by the ACCC) may be relied on by private litigants in other proceedings which will likely increase the ease of commencing private enforcement actions (once more cases are tried and heard).

Currently there are four private actions ongoing in Australia alleging a contravention of competition law involving digital platforms:

  • Epic Games v. Apple: Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, commenced proceedings against Apple, alleging that Apple engaged in misuse of market power (among other things) by forcing developers to use Apple’s App Store and Apple’s payment platform for consumers making in-app purchases, while taking a 15 to 30 per cent commission on all payments. Epic also commenced similar proceedings in the US and the UK. Following commencement, Apple filed for a stay of proceedings in favour of proceedings in the Northern District of California. After an initial decision in Apple’s favour, Epic appealed to the full Federal Court, which found that there are serious public policy issues that should be adjudicated in Australia. Apple has since applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal. At the time of writing, no decision on special leave has been made. If leave to appeal is not granted, trial will commence in November 2022.
  • Epic Games v. Google: Epic brought proceedings against Google alleging misuse of market power (among other things) by Google for hindering Epic’s ability to supply Fortnite in the Google Play Store. On 6 August 2021, Google filed an interlocutory application to stay proceedings in Australia. The hearing for the stay application is scheduled for October this year.
  • Dialogue Consulting v. Facebook/Instagram: Dialogue, a start-up offering social media content scheduling, brought proceedings against Facebook alleging that Facebook’s decision to deactivate Dialogue’s access to its platforms was designed to harm Dialogue’s ability to compete with Instagram’s content publishing software. Dialogue claims that Facebook misused its market power, engaged in exclusive dealing and made contracts with the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition. Facebook argues that its decision to deactivate access was in response to contractual breaches by Dialogue. In April 2019, Dialogue was granted an interim injunction against Facebook, restraining it from terminating, suspending or refusing Dialogue’s access to its platforms. In December 2020, Facebook sought a stay of the proceedings, but not as they related to Section 46. The stay application was dismissed. Facebook has since filed an appeal to the Full Federal Court, which is set to be heard in November 2021.
  • Hamilton v. Facebook and Google: in August 2020, a class action was commenced in the Federal Court against Google and Apple claiming they engaged in cartel conduct and concerted practices that substantially lessened competition by banning all cryptocurrency-related advertising. The proceeding is being brought on behalf of 33 different cryptocurrency holders. The case is currently active.

Prior to these actions, there had been one private enforcement action against a digital platform, Unlockd v. Google. Unlockd developed an app that targeted advertising to customers in exchange for rewards points. Unlockd alleged Google misused its market power when it threatened to block access to Unlockd’s product in the Google Play Store. Unlockd was granted an interim injunction preventing Google from withdrawing its services in the Google Play Store. These proceedings were discontinued in October 2018 following Unlockd entering voluntary administration. The ACCC indicated it would commence proceedings against Google for this conduct. To date no action has been filed. In the second DPSI report, the ACCC stated:

The example of Unlockd raises broader questions around digital platforms’ role as effective ‘regulators’, given the gateway role of their own marketplaces. The ACCC will continue to take an ongoing interest in Google’s setting and enforcement of its rules and its implications for competition.[6]

While private actions in Australia are still rare compared to other jurisdictions, the recent uptick may be a sign of future growth in this area.

Upcoming developments and proposed reforms

The ACCC’s recommendations in the DPI report sparked major change to the frameworks surrounding digital markets.

Privacy Act review

In the DPI report, the ACCC recommended the strengthening of protections in the Privacy Act as well as broader reform of Australian privacy law to ensure that consumers’ personal information is protected in light of the increasing volume and scope of data collection in the digital economy.

In December 2019, the Attorney-General announced that the government would commence a review of the Privacy Act. In its review, the government will consider:

  • if the Privacy Act protects personal information and provides a framework that promotes good privacy practices;
  • whether individuals should have direct rights of action to enforce privacy obligations under the Privacy Act;
  • whether a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy should be introduced;
  • the effectiveness of enforcement powers and mechanisms under the Privacy Act; and
  • whether an independent certification scheme should be implemented to monitor and demonstrate compliance with Australian privacy laws.

In October 2020, the government published an issues paper seeking views on a range of issues affecting consumers’ data protection. It will publish a discussion paper for further comment in late 2021.

Proposed merger reform

In April 2021, the ACCC released a joint media statement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and Germany’s Bundeskartellamt, which advocated that the best way merger control can protect competition is through completely opposing a transaction or divestitures and that behavioural remedies are inappropriate.[7]

In August 2021, the ACCC announced a proposed overhaul of the current merger control regime. The ACCC is not a legislative body and there is no draft legislation before Parliament; however, the ACCC can be expected to strongly advocate for its proposed reform. While public debate is commencing, draft legislative changes are not expected before the second half of 2022.

The ACCC’s proposal for merger control reform identified four key issues it seeks to address and includes a proposal for a specific approach to acquisitions by digital platforms. While other reforms are of general application, they appear also to be driven by the ACCC’s concerns about the structure of digital markets and factors such as access to data.

IssueACCC proposal
The process by which merger parties seek ACCC clearanceAll acquisitions above specified thresholds would be subject to mandatory notification to the ACCC. The ACCC proposes an administratively simple process to deal with acquisitions above thresholds that are unlikely to raise serious competition concerns. For acquisitions below the thresholds, the ACCC proposes a ‘call in’ power to bring those transactions under the formal process to discourage transactions from being structured to avoid mandatory notification. The test the ACCC would apply would be framed to require the ACCC to be satisfied that the proposed acquisition is not likely to have the effect of substantially lessening of competition. The ACCC’s decisions would be subject to limited merits review by the Australian Competition Tribunal based on information provided during ACCC review.
Market power in increasingly concentrated marketsMergers by firms that have market power, where the acquisition could be seen to enhance the firm’s dominance, would be deemed to substantially lessen competition, with the parties required to rebut that presumption.
The current legal test and merger factors which guide the interpretation of the testProposed changes to the legal test include:
  • updated merger factors to focus on structural conditions for competition and address access to or control of data or technology;
  • a definition of ‘likely’ as ‘a possibility that is not remote’;
  • a deeming provision for acquisitions that materially increase or extend substantial market power; and
  • a provision to allow ancillary agreements between the merger parties to be taken into account in the merger assessment.
Specific changes to deal with acquisitions by large digital platforms

Although it has not specified what this might look like, the ACCC has proposed a tailored test for acquisitions by certain digital platforms. The ACCC is proposing a process to specify which digital firms should be subject to this test, which would consider factors such as the size and scope of the firm’s services in Australia, whether it is a ‘gateway’ firm that is able to control how other businesses interact with consumers, and the firm’s market power. Lower notification thresholds may also be necessary.

UCT exposure draft legislation

Australia’s existing unfair contract terms (UCT) regime is designed to protect consumers and small businesses from UCTs in standard form contracts. In the DPI report and the first DPSI report, the ACCC recommended additional protections from UCTs, due to issues arising from the power imbalance between small businesses and consumers, and large digital platforms. The ACCC found that the terms and conditions must be accepted by default and often leave businesses and consumers at a significant disadvantage.

In August 2021, the government released its draft Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for a later sitting) Bill 2021: unfair contract term reforms, which seeks to amend both the ACL and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001 (Cth) to strengthen the UCT legislative framework.

The key changes proposed by this draft include:

  • making unfair contract terms unlawful (as opposed to void);
  • the application of UCT protections to more businesses: covering standard form contracts where one party either has annual turnover of less than A$20 million or employs under 100 employees (as opposed to the current 20 employees);
  • introducing civil penalties for proposing, applying or relying on a UCT. For corporations this would be the greater of A$10 million, three times the value of the benefit derived from the contravention or 10 per cent of annual turnover; and
  • introducing a rebuttable presumption for UCTs in similar circumstances.

These proposed changes are only set to apply to new contracts, contracts that are renewed or terms that are varied after the legislation’s commencement date.

Public consultation on the exposure draft legislation and explanatory materials is currently open and will close on 20 September 2021.

Key themes and trends

The ACCC is ramping up its focus on digital platforms, which we can expect to continue. As flagged by Mr Sims in August 2021, this focus is likely to be broader than enforcement:

while these enforcement actions and market studies are necessary to tackle the problems arising from dominant digital platforms, they are not enough on their own… In Australia, our own work at the ACCC must be tailored to match our own issues and concerns. But although the finer details of our approaches may vary, competition authorities must align our approaches as much as possible. This will include alignment around up front regulation and rules, as well as enforcement and merger control. The competitiveness, and the level and type of innovation in our economy, requires this.[8]

This focus is likely to be geared towards large digital platforms.

Some of the key trends we are likely to see develop are:

  • The Digital Platforms branch will continue to proactively advance investigations and inquiries into the practices of digital platforms, and we are likely to see more court action. The ACCC will continue to develop and expand this unit.
  • The ACCC has made a number of comments regarding market power of digital platforms, although its prosecution under Section 46 has been limited and undeveloped. It is likely its approach to abuses of market power in digital markets will develop rapidly (and will substantially draw on work it has already undertaken as part of its inquiries).
  • Advocacy for both competition and regulatory law reform. Beyond merger control, the ACCC considers there are broader issues in digital platform markets that may need rules that apply to conduct of specific companies in those markets. The ACCC has indicated that it is considering the introduction of dedicated digital platform legislation that would govern a broad range of issues.[9] This would align with the approach being taken in Europe and the United States.
  • The ACCC has commenced its merger control policy reform campaign, which is likely to ramp up over the next 12 months. The proposed framework will have specific provisions for digital platforms and these provisions would be stricter than in other non-digital markets. The ACCC is particularly concerned where digital platforms purchase ‘nascent competitors’ without notification and has signalled a more interventionist approach (it is currently undertaking a post-completion investigation of Facebook/Giphy).
  • The ACCC is focused on the treatment of data and its role in competition law – with data ownership and portability being flagged as key issues. This focus also highlights the intersection between privacy and competition law, with data being the intersection point. In particular, we have already seen:
    • the Consumer Data Right (CDR) implemented in the financial sector, with the intention that it will apply to telecommunications and energy sectors (and potentially other sectors);
    • the ACCC take action under the ACL for misleading use of consumer data against Google and Facebook;
    • a full review of the Privacy Act to ensure privacy settings empower consumers, protect data and best serve the Australian economy;
    • concerns raised in the DPI report about unfair trade practices related to data collection from large digital platforms; and
    • concerns in the PJC inquiry over where Australian mobile payments consumer data is stored.

Notes

1 Louise Klamka is a partner and Andrew Low is special counsel at Gilbert + Tobin. The authors would like to thank Peter Sergi and Amelia Douglass for their contribution to this Chapter.

2 This includes: (1) restrictions on access (e.g., excluding or denying rivals’ access to data, restricting access to application programming interfaces – see the US Federal Trade Commission’s action against Facebook for illegal monopolisation, or restricting access to infrastructure – see European Commission’s (EC) investigation into Apple regarding Apple Pay) and (2) self-preferencing (e.g., the EC’s investigations into Apple’s conduct regarding audiobooks, music streaming and Apple Pay, the Dutch competition authorities investigation into Apple Pay, the EC’s investigation into Google regarding ad tech).

3 Treasury, Government Response and Implementation Roadmap for the Digital Platforms Inquiry. Accessible online at <https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2019-41708>;.

4 ACCC, ACCC 2021 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities, 23 February 2021. Full speech accessible online at <https://www.accc.gov.au/speech/accc-2021-compliance-and-enforcement-priorities>;.

5 In 2020, the ACCC subsequently granted Gumtree merger authorisation for its acquisition of Cox Media (which operates online platforms CarsGuide and Autotrader) in the same online car classifieds market. See ACCC website at <https://www.accc.gov.au/public-registers/mergers-registers/merger-authorisations-register/gumtree-au-pty-ltd-proposed-acquisition-of-cox-australia-media-solutions-pty-ltd>;.

6 ACCC, Digital platform services inquiry – March 2021 interim report, 28 April 2021, p. 48. Accessible online at < https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/serial-publications/digital-platform-services-inquiry-2020-2025/digital-platform-services-inquiry-march-2021-interim-report>;.

7 ACCC, Landmark joint statement on merger control enforcement from ACCC, UK’s CMA and Germany’s Bundeskartellamt (20 April 2020). Accessible online at <https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/landmark-joint-statement-on-merger-control-enforcement-from-accc-uks-cma-and-germanys-bundeskartellamt>;.

8 Rod Sims, Platforms’ dominance of apps market needs to be addressed, Global Competition Review Webinar (19 August 2021). Full speech accessible online at <https://www.accc.gov.au/speech/platforms-dominance-of-apps-market-needs-to-be-addressed>;.

9 Australian Financial Review, Big tech faces tough new laws under ACCC plan, John Davidson, 7 September 2021. Accessible online at <https://www.afr.com/technology/big-tech-faces-tough-new-laws-under-accc-plan-20210905-p58p0r>;.

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