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ACCC to take a closer look at competition in online marketplaces

  • July 23 2021
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ACCC to take a closer look at competition in online marketplaces

By Fergus Halliday
July 23 2021

Australia’s consumer rights regulator is taking a closer look at online shopping giants like Amazon, Kogan and Catch.

competition in online marketplaces

ACCC to take a closer look at competition in online marketplaces

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  • July 23 2021
  • Share

Australia’s consumer rights regulator is taking a closer look at online shopping giants like Amazon, Kogan and Catch.

competition in online marketplaces

After its high-profile stoush with digital giants Google and Facebook, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has moved to put Australia’s biggest online marketplaces under the microscope.

Bundled up in the agency’s broader inquiry into digital platform services in Australia, the ACCC has already released a preliminary issues paper on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Kogan and Catch and are now looking for feedback to inform its findings. 

Noting that online purchases rose 57 per cent annually in 2020, the ACCC said they’ll be considering things like pressing practices, the use of data, terms and conditions imposed on sellers and the implications of situations where the platform acts as a player in its own marketplace. 

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Specifically, the ACCC is looking to hone in on the different relationships between marketplaces, sellers and consumers and how those relate to competition and consumer outcomes.

“These online marketplaces are an important and growing segment of the economy, so it is important that we understand how online marketplaces operate and whether they are working effectively for consumers and businesses,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

Ahead of issuing its formal report, the regulator has called for submissions from consumers, platforms, third-party sellers, small businesses and major brands relating to its experience with large-scale online marketplaces like Amazon Australia, eBay Australia, Kogan and Catch.

According to Mr Sims, the agency is “keen to hear about the experiences of Australians, both consumers and businesses”.

“We want to be sure that the rules that apply to traditional retail are also complied with in the online context,” said Mr Sims.

“Online marketplaces offer many benefits to consumers who can shop around for a variety of products in one place, and for sellers which may be able to contract out services such as warehousing, packing and shipping to the marketplaces.”

Mr Sims said the ACCC expects these online marketplaces “to operate fairly for businesses and consumers alike and comply with consumer laws and competition laws”.

The ACCC’s report on online marketplaces is set to be included in its fourth report to federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, currently slated for submission by 31 March 2022.

ACCC to take a closer look at competition in online marketplaces
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

author image
Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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