Internet, phone & TV

ACCC releases preliminary report into Google, Facebook and Australian news and advertising

With Google and Facebook transforming the way consumers communicate, access news and view advertising online, it is critical that governments and regulators consider the potential issues created by the concentration of market power and the broader impacts of digital platforms.

The preliminary report, published today, contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

Internet provider Activ8me in court for alleged misleading advertisements

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against internet provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd (trading as Activ8me) in the Federal Court for allegedly making false or misleading representations when advertising its internet services.

The ACCC alleges that, between June and October this year, Activ8me breached the Australian Consumer Law when it made the false or misleading claims in three direct mail advertisements and five online banner advertisements marketing its Opticomm fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) packages.

NBN broadband speeds much improved for most, but not all

Competition among internet service providers (ISP) to perform well in the ACCC’s speed tests is delivering good results for fixed-line NBN customers, although some consumers continue to receive substantially slower speeds than typically available to other consumers on the same plan.

This third ACCC Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report, prepared for the ACCC by SamKnows, provides new data on the performance of NBN services from major ISPs.

Peering criteria increase transparency in the internet interconnection market

The ACCC says recent developments in the wholesale market for internet interconnection services will boost competition in the supply of internet connectivity and hosted services to corporate and government customers and lead to a better online experience for end-users.

Optus, Telstra, and TPG have recently published the criteria on which they will consider peering with other internet service providers (ISPs), detailing the requirements other providers need to achieve in order to directly interconnect with them on a settlement free basis.

Data economy drives dynamic changes

ACCC Chair Rod Sims discussed the local and global issues in regulating the data economy in a speech delivered in Sydney today.

Mr Sims examined the difficulty regulators face in determining the competition impacts when dynamic data companies merge, consumer issues and how the ACCC is well placed to take enforcement action in relation to data issues.

“One of the key challenges with merger cases in digital markets is predicting the likelihood of future competition between the target and the acquirer,” Mr Sims said.