Huawei ban rules out tilt at mobile: TPG

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 10-May-19

In the wake of the ACCC’s decision to block a proposed merger with Vodafone, TPG Telecom has indicated that it has no plans to build a mobile network. TPG terminated work on its own network in early 2019, after the federal government banned Huawei from supplying equipment for Australia’s 5G network. TPG argues that the Chinese company is the only supplier of 5G equipment that is compatible with the 4G technology that TPG has already installed.

CORPORATES
TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, VODAFONE HUTCHISON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VODAFONE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NOKIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ERICSSON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER ACTION NETWORK LIMITED, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED

Cartels cave as ACCC hits three a year

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 16-Apr-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says it plans to run three cartel prosecutions a year for the foreseeable future. He says a memorandum of understanding with the FBI to share information with the ACCC will help it to prosecute criminal cartel behaviour. The ACCC currently has five criminal cartel cases before the courts, covering industries such as banking and construction. Forming a cartel in Australia has only been illegal since 2009, although it has been illegal in the US since 1890.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, NYK LINE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, VISY INDUSTRIES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA LIMITED

Watchdog targets Google’s advertising

Original article by David Swan
The Australian – Page: 23 : 18-Mar-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has told the ThinkTV conference that he wants advertising technology companies such as Google to be more transparent about their pricing. Sims says insufficient transparency means advertisers are unsure what they are paying for, and that higher advertising prices are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services. Gary Nissim, the founder and MD of search agency Indago Digital, says there is still uncertainty as to how Google calculates cost per click and how its algorithms work.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, THINK TV, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, INDAGO DIGITAL, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA

Break up Google to level field in media

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 13-Mar-19

News Corp Australia has used its submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Com­m­ission’s landmark review of digital platforms to propose forcing Google to sell either its search or advertising business. The media group contends that forced divestment may be the best way to address the market power of digital platforms. ACCC chairman Rod Sims recently noted that digital platforms are not subject to the same regulations as traditional media companies.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Media takes hard line on tech titans

Original article by David Swan, Lilly Vitorovich, Zoe Samios, Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 5-Mar-19

The preliminary report of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s landmark inquiry into digital platforms called for greater transparency regarding their algorithms and how news stories are ranked on their sites. Nine Entertainment Company’s submission has supported increased regulation of digital platforms such as Facebook and Google, as well as the introduction of a tax offset for news. Meanwhile, telco Optus has expressed concern that measures aimed at curbing the market power of digital platforms could potentially apply to the broader business sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE LIMITED, COUNTRY PRESS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, STAR NEWS GROUP PTY LTD, PROVINCIAL PRESS GROUP, AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS)

Sims wants to hit companies in the share price for misconduct

Original article by Andrew White, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 27-Feb-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has outlined the competition watchdog’s priorities for 2019. They include greater scrutiny of advertising services on digital media platforms, customer loyalty schemes that collect and use data, and consumer protection guarantees for large household items. Sims also says he hopes courts will use consumer penalty laws passed in 2018 to impose fines for corporate misconduct that are sufficient to have a material effect on a company’s share price.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Free TV calls for tax breaks for news production to curtail Google, Facebook

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: Online : 19-Feb-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has urged the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to develop new regulations for digital platforms in the wake of its landmark inquiry into the sector. Amongst other things, Free TV suggests that digital platforms could be subject to undertakings to ensure that media companies are fairly paid for their content. The lobby group has also proposed the introduction of a tax offset for the production of local news and journalistic content.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Free TV targets tech ad imbalance

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 24 & 26 : 11-Feb-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has called for a level playing field with regard to the media’s political advertising rules. She says the ban on broadcasting political advertising on traditional media creates a big disincentive for advertising on commercial TV, given that the ban does not apply to digital media. Fair has welcomed the recommendations of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s review of digital platforms, but she says urgent action is needed to address competition issues in the media sector.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

TPG plunges on doubt over merger plans

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 14-Dec-18

Australian Competition & Consumer Competition chairman Rod Sims says its preliminary view on the proposed merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom is that it will lead to less competition. The ACCC will delay its decision on the $15 billion merger for three months, while Sims’ comments caused TPG’s share price to fall by 16.7 per cent on 13 December. Vodafone CEO Inaki Berroeta says the merger with TPG is still on track, and that it will be good for consumers.

CORPORATES
VODAFONE HUTCHISON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TPG TELECOM LIMITED – ASX TPM, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD

Facebook lashes algorithm watchdog oversight

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 13-Dec-18

Social media giant Facebook has questioned the merits of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s proposal for a new regulator to be given responsibility for monitoring digital platforms’ algorithms. Facebook’s Andy O’Connell says the proposal is unnecessary and unworkable, and he has rejected suggestions that the company lacks transparency regarding its algorithms. He adds that Facebook will continue to engage with the ACCC as the competition watchdog prepares to release the final report of its inquiry into digital platforms in mid-2019.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED