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ACCC commences inquiry into digital platforms

The Federal Government has today formally directed the ACCC to commence an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google.

The ACCC’s inquiry will look at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms are having on competition in media and advertising services markets.

“The ACCC goes into this inquiry with an open mind to and will study how digital platforms such as Facebook and Google operate to fully understand their influence in Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Finder.com.au penalised for misleading consumers

Hive Empire Pty Limited, trading as finder.com.au (Finder), has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the ACCC for alleged false or misleading claims about the number of health insurance policies it compares.

The ACCC alleges that between February and May 2017, Finder represented on its website that its health insurance comparison service allowed consumers to “compare roughly 65,000 policies”, when the number of policies compared was substantially less than this.

Recordkeeping

Businesses trading in Australia are expected to be aware of their obligations under the ACL. It’s not a defence, or an excuse, to claim that you ‘didn’t know’ you were doing something wrong.

Yoogalu and Domestic & General Services give undertakings to ACCC

The ACCC has accepted court enforceable undertakings from Domestic & General Services Pty Ltd (Domestic & General Services) and Yoogalu Pty Ltd (part of the Harvey Norman group of companies) following an industry-wide review of extended warranty selling practices.

“The ACCC has been concerned with the conduct of some retailers overstating the benefits of buying an extended warranty, when consumers have the free protection of consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL),” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.