… Two Months After Sweep On SM Influencers
The Australian competition regulator said on Wednesday it would probe the country’s fast-evolving ecosystem of digital platform service providers as part of a five-year inquiry into the sector.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said consumers and businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on products and services offered by digital platforms such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft, and it’s crucial to examine how these giants are expanding their reach in the country.
The regulator said it will look into procedures adopted by the sector such as creating confusing interfaces known as “dark patterns”, which can “manipulate users into taking certain actions”, as well as conditional service offerings, also known as “tying”, that restrict access to particular services.
“Interconnected products … 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,” ACCC Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.
ACCC also published an issues paper, seeking feedback from consumers, businesses and relevant stakeholders concerning the investment choices made by digital platforms and the potential effect on competition and consumers.
This follows the ACCC announcing in January that it had conducted a sweep to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements by social media influencers across a range of digital platforms.
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