Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Government response to ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry

The Government has released a roadmap for action in response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry report.

The Government has announced a roadmap of reforms to address the changing media landscape and to bridge the gap between digital platforms and traditional media companies.

The roadmap outlines a program of immediate and phased actions in response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry report.

The reforms will focus on promoting competition, enhancing consumer protections and fostering a regulatory environment that deals more effectively with the online and offline delivery of media content.

The Government will commence its reform agenda by addressing bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and traditional news media companies and will work with industry to develop a uniform classification framework across all media platforms.

It will also review the extent of Australian content obligations on free-to-air television and whether regulatory obligations should also apply on subscription video-on-demand services, along with other aspects of the policy framework to support Australian film and television content.

In 2020, a new dispute resolution scheme will be developed to resolve complaints between consumers and digital platforms and the $60 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation package will be enhanced to better support the production of high quality news and public interest journalism, particularly in regional and remote areas of Australia. Major digital platforms will also be asked to develop a voluntary code of conduct around disinformation and news quality.

The ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry report, released in July 2019, made 23 recommendations covering competition policy, consumer protection, data privacy and a range of media policy issues, including the impact of digital platforms on the production of quality journalism. The Government undertook a 12 week public consultation process to inform the comprehensive response.

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