ACCC launches ad tech inquiry


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 10 March, 2020


ACCC launches ad tech inquiry

The ACCC has commenced its inquiry into the digital advertising technology supply chain in Australia.

The regulator is seeking feedback from interested stakeholders, including all companies who buy digital display advertising, as part of its assessment of the state of the market.

The ACCC is also soliciting submissions from advertising and media agencies, social media platforms, website owners, app developers and ad tech services companies.

With the inquiry the ACCC plans to gauge the competitiveness, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of ad tech and ad agency services.

Key issues to be explored will include whether buyers have enough information to make informed choices about the use of ad agency and ad tech services; the role and use of data including personal information in supplying these services; and whether competition and efficiency are being distorted by larger providers.

“During our Digital Platforms Inquiry, we heard many concerns about the complexity and opacity of ad tech and ad agency services. This has real potential to undermine advertisers’ abilities to choose services that provide the best value for money for them,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims commented.

“It may also prevent the companies that host those ads from maximising their advertising revenue. Higher prices for advertisers means higher prices for consumers. And lower revenues for ad hosts could in the longer term lead to a reduction in the quality and diversity of online content.”

As part of the inquiry, the ACCC will use its compulsory information-gathering powers to gain access to information from market participants that is not publicly available.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Oleksiy Mark

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