Online shopping

ACCC reviewing sharing economy policies as part of international sweep

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is assessing the review policies of sharing economy platforms as part of an international initiative targeting online reviews and endorsements.

This review is part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN)’s annual internet sweep, involving over 50 consumer protection agencies around the world. This year the focus of the sweep is ‘Online Reviews and Endorsements’ and the ACCC will be focusing on the way in which reviews operate in the sharing economy.

International consumer protection enforcers issue guidance for online reviews and endorsements stakeholders

The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) has released a set of guidelines for market participants involved in the collection, moderation and publication of online reviews and endorsements.

Global enforcers have found that online reviews and endorsements are proving useful to consumers when, for example, booking travel accommodation and other travel-related products and services. It is important that consumers can trust the reviews and endorsements they use to help make these buying decisions.

ACCC releases comparator website guidance

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released consumer and industry guidance on the operation and use of comparator websites.

“The consumer guidance offers tips to help consumers get the best outcomes when using comparator websites. The industry guidance sets out the standards that the ACCC expects comparator websites to meet,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Comparator websites

Comparator websites compare products offered by a range of suppliers and frequently include multiple products offered by the same supplier. Comparator websites can be a useful tool, but make sure you know how these sites work before relying on a comparison.

Priorities 2015

In his first speech of the year, Chairman Rod Sims launches the 2015 edition of the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy at CEDA in Sydney. Mr Sims announces cartel conduct in government procurement, truth in advertising, competition and consumer issues in the health sector and industry codes as new priorities. He also outlines the ACCC’s role in ensuring privatisation delivers for consumers, improving the functioning of the financial system given the competition focus of the Murray report, ensuring a smooth transition for consumers to NBN services and reviewing water rules to improve outcomes in the Murray-Darling Basin.