, 71 tweets, 14 min read Read on Twitter
2/ The focus is on digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms (eg, G News) and not "on online shopping and e-commerce platforms." It recognizes, however, that the services provided by digital platforms are constantly changing.
3/ Soul searching in note 48: do you consider, on reflection, that Twitter is useless or valueless? (Me: WTP and WTA both very high)
4/“As Google Chrome is pre-installed on Android devices and Google Search is the default option on Google Chrome and Apple's Safari mobile browser, Google's search engine is effectively the current default search engine on over 95 percent of mobile devices in Australia”
5/ Extreme returns to scale per Crémer/de Montjoye/Schweitzer p. 73
6/More worried about killer acquisitions than in the EU Report, apparently- and, no, they didn’t get @TomValletti first name right
7/ „Instagram is just one example of a pattern of acquisitions by Facebook“ and @acccgovau „not forming a firm view on the appropriateness or otherwise of this or any other particular merger decision“
8/ Onavo: „ACCC considers that if Facebook had the ability to track consumer use of rival apps, this could have provided Facebook with a significant competitive advantage and facilitated a strategy of acquiring potential rivals, or competing suppliers with a large user base
9/ Bolt App Lock: „A Facebook spokesperson is said to have later revealed that the launch of Bolt App Lock was a ‘small, brief test.“
10/„as Facebook is collecting all this data itself, it does not need to purchase third party data to the extent that other providers of digital advertising may need to“
11/„The ACCC disagrees with Professor Tucker's assertion that Facebook obtains little competitive advantage as a result of the data held... Facebook has very accurate user data as a result of the direct information users provide...accuracy rates much higher than any data broker“
12/ „online advertising facilitates direct response campaigns, which encourage a consumer to click and purchase the advertised product. Offline advertising is less suited to direct response campaign“
13/ „The ACCC considers that [news media referral] services probably constitute a market and that Google and Facebook are likely to have substantial market power in that market..however...it is not necessary for the purposes of this Report to reach a conclusion on those matters“
14/ „the likelihood that a merger or acquisition would remove potential competitors may [also] be an issue.. in the case of mergers or acquisitions concerning merging entities or target companies with products in development that may compete with those of the acquiring company“
15/ „The ACCC has widened the scope of the factor...to include consideration of assets in general and highlighting data as an example of such an asset. Other assets may include intellectual property rights“- „the nature and significance of assets, including data and technology“
16/ „it may be worthwhile to consider whether a rebuttable presumption should also apply, in some form, to merger cases in Australia...Separate to the recommendations of the Inquiry, the ACCC is considering whether it is appropriate to advocate for legislative changes“
17/ „reviews of mergers or acquisitions by large digital platforms occur concurrently with reviews..by overseas...authorities...the ACCC would connect..share information and discuss relevant issues (subject to any legal restrictions and applicable confidentiality undertakings)“
18/ „The specialist digital platforms branch..could monitor any further developments in the browser market, including the competitive impact of commercial arrangements between Google and suppliers of search services and Internet browsers“
19/„at this point in time the ACCC has chosen not to recommend increased data portability obligations to address the market power and competition issues it has identified..because,specific to the markets..examined..unlikely to significantly address these issues in the short term“
20/„Unlike banking..., online search and social media services are provided for free..there is less of an incentive..to seek a transfer of..personal data..Additionally, it..would not reduce network effects and may not have a significant effect on barriers to entry and expansion“
21/ „Allowing consumer to share data...can result in the development of new products and innovative offerings that could benefit consumers..These use cases and benefits wouldn't necessarily go to the issue of market power and competition for digital platforms“ 👉🏿 future CDR tbc
22/„..divestment remedies require time and planning. In non-digital markets, physical assets and businesses can potentially be quarantined during any transition period. In digital markets, this may be more difficult, given the data flows between businesses or parts of businesses“
A friendly Reminder, before diving into adtech...This isn’t a summary per se but a very personal thread on what momentarily attracts my extremely biased attention.
23/„Instead of targeting broad audience segments..advertisers are now able to serve ads in real time...and can also target users at specific points in the purchasing journey (for example, search advertising can reach users when they show purchasing intent)“
24/ „Publishers that sell their advertising space via Facebook Audience Network receive the majority of the revenue collected from the advertiser and the remainder is kept by Facebook“ fn. says „Information provided to the ACCC“
25/ „Websites signing up for AdSense for display advertising, and websites signing up for AdSense for search advertising, receive 68 and 51 per cent of the ad revenue respectively, when using the online terms“
26/„While there are many firms that supply ad tech services, Google is the only company that offers ad tech services across the entire ad tech supply chain..The revenue and ad inventory flowing through Google's ad tech services are significantly larger than any other firm...“
27/„..Facebook previously had a partnership program...which allowed advertisers...to target users based on purchasing and other offline information provided by Quantium, Acxiom and Experian. However this was discontinued in March 2018 due to privacy concerns“
28/„[Google Ad Manager] allows for more automation, greater use of data and customisation(...), and also makes the website's ad inventory available not just to Google's ad tech services, but also to other third party ad tech”
29/“There are a number of reasons that..offerings [by smaller ad tech providers] may be less attractive than the offering by larger players” 👉🏿 “less access to data...less able to follow users across multiple touchpoints and therefore may be less attractive to advertisers”
“The extensive data collected by each of Google and Facebook on their own users (off-platform as well as on-platform) and the data collected via Google and Facebook's own activities in online advertising is likely to be unparalleled”👇
31/“In particular, digital platforms have provided a new advertising avenue for small to medium sized businesses that may not have been able to afford the advertising available on the high-reach traditional newspapers or commercial television and radio...” my hairdresser agrees
32/“There is international evidence that digital platforms have engaged in anti-competitive leveraging behaviour in the past and the risk of leveraging behaviour is increasing as Google and Facebook expand into other markets”
33/ “There have also been allegations raised recently in the UK and Australia about similar types of [leveraging] conduct...it appears from the documents released that Facebook's consideration to give firms access to user data (through APIs) took into account their ad spend”
34/ On the subtle art of market power leveraging in the digital era 👇
35/ “Another way in which digital platforms may misuse market power is within a market in which they have substantial market power. During the course of this Inquiry, many examples of misuse of market power were raised with the ACCC...” and yes updating *already* necessary here
36/“Some proactive monitoring and collection of data will enable the ACCC to build an evidence base for future matters..Given the opaque nature of many digital markets, competition enforcers cannot gather this data through observations or monitoring public data and outputs alone”
37/“...existing laws rely on conduct to be brought to the ACCC's attention. It is likely that some discrimination will not be able to be detected by market participants. This possibility is heightened where digital platforms operate as ‘black boxes'”
38/ “Existing investigation and enforcement mechanisms have proved flexible enough to address some competition and consumer issues in digital markets. However, a key finding of this Report is that they are not adequate to deal with *all* issues”
39/“Similar to other industries, such as telecommunications, the ACCC considers there is value in collecting information from digital platforms that will facilitate the monitoring of competition and market developments, and will assist in informing decisions”
40/“ Where the ACCC's inquiries identify serious consequences arising from this imbalance in bargaining power, the ACCC may make recommendations. For example, the developments of codes of conduct to govern such relationships, similar to that proposed in...the Furman Report..”
41/“The ACCC recommends that proactive investigation, monitoring and enforcement extend to all digital platforms.While some of the issues identified stem from various platforms holding significant market power, issues relating to market failure are not dependent on market power”
42/“The ACCC considers that the proposed digital platforms branch within the ACCC would work closely with equivalent teams at these overseas competition agencies...where appropriate, [they could] share information and align their approach to meet the same objectives”
43/“...it is clear that for both advertisers and websites, the pricing of the ad tech services frequently used to deliver programmatic advertising is opaque...between 20 to 75 per cent of advertiser expenditure is taken up by suppliers in the ad tech supply chain”
44/“...while Google is by far the largest supplier of ad tech services, the complexity and opacity of the market is largely due to the very nature of the ad tech supply chain itself..The study will therefore extend beyond looking specifically at any one supplier” #opacitybydesign
45/“While Google has built different integrations with third party ad tech services, there continue to be potential connectivity issues, and areas of incompatibility which incentivises the utilisation of Google ad tech services together”
46/“The ACCC rejects Google's assertions that it should be unconcerned with bundling and tying because Google does not have substantial market power...publicly available information suggests Google has a much larger market share than its rivals in multiple ad tech services.”
47/“ACCC notes that while it has received some further confidential complaints, it has been hindered in its ability to investigate these issues because no firm was willing to make a public submission which set these out in detail..further investigation and analysis may be needed”
48/“Because of...market power, Google and Facebook...for example may have less incentives to be transparent about pricing or to put in place effective dispute resolutions mechanisms, as advertisers would likely continue to use their services despite these issues”
49/“..issues raised in relation to Apple's conduct has the potential to raise competition concerns. In particular, Apple's practice of tying payments on Apple News to its own payment methods (and not allowing media businesses to bypass Apple's payment methods)...”
50🏅/“Apple's arrangement with app developers, where 🍎 takes 30 per cent of revenue from subscription fees..much stronger bargaining position relative to app developers..Apple's app store is the only platform through which consumers can download and purchase apps on iOS devices”
51/ “not recommending a mandatory licensing regime to apply to the use of snippets at this time...past experience in other countries suggests that the regime may not work...more appropriate for digital platforms and news media businesses to negotiate payments between themselves”
52/ “greater and higher quality data could improve the quality of media businesses' advertising services...However...[c]onsumers would not expect media businesses to have access to their browsing history, search queries or navigational history from a visit to [their] website”
53/“recommends that, as part of the proposed code of conduct..designated digital platforms would be required to commit to sharing data on users' consumption..and to negotiate in good faith about other issues (including...Google's right to use and/or share that data).”
54/“The ACCC's new functions set out in recommendation 4 will provide the ACCC with the ability to investigate and report on whether a lack of transparency on the part of digital platforms is creating or contributing to a market failure”
55/ “The ACCC's codes of conduct proposal shares many features with the code proposed by the Cairncross Review and similarly seeks to address the unbalanced relationship between digital platforms and media businesses”
56/“Due to the differences between the various digital platforms and the dynamics between the platforms and media businesses, separate individual codes would be more appropriate than an industry-wide code”
57/“The ACCC and the ACMA would monitor the effectiveness of the codes. In the event that the codes of conduct...do not improve the bargaining imbalance...it may be appropriate for the ACCC or the ACMA to recommend that the Government consider further intervention”
Visualisation of the filter bubble effect 👇
60/ Data flows C2B and B2B (#teachingmaterial - and, in case you were wondering, “all material contained within this work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence”)
61/“A lack of clarity in information provided to consumers regarding how their personal information is used..is particularly problematic when information ostensibly collected for a consumer-facing service...is also used for purposes beyond a consumer's reasonable expectations”
62/ “In 2017, @antitrust_it fined WhatsApp for inducing users to believe they had to provide consent to a change in WhatsApp's terms of use relating to the sharing of user data with Facebook in order to continue using the service“
63/“CDR operates within the existing legislative framework to deal with certain types of data and mechanisms for accessing that data in specific sectors of the economy. The CDR privacy protections should therefore be viewed as extra protections applicable only to CDR data”
64/“closer alignment of Australian privacy regulations with the GDPR's higher standards of protection could significantly increase the effectiveness of Australian privacy law and increase the accountability of entities processing the personal information of Australian consumers”
65/“The ACCC...notes arguments regarding the potential consequences of the increased requirements under the GDPR as having a chilling effect on innovation and potentially increasing barriers to entry, although no substantive evidence was provided to the ACCC of this effect.”
66/“Australian consumers may suffer a decrease in welfare from reduced choice and reduced quality of digital platforms services along the privacy dimension, compared to consumers in jurisdictions with stronger privacy protections in place”
67/👆🏿”WhatsApp's🇪🇺users are not required to consent to Terms of Service allowing their user data to be combined with Facebook user data..🇦🇺users must consent to terms that state: ‘WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, [the Facebook family] of companies”
“digital platforms have an incentive to exploit existing information asymmetries to obtain more user data and personal information from its users..In response, rivals...may endeavour to protect their market share by adopting similarly invasive data practices” 😮
69/“..concerns over potential anti-competitive behaviour, including by leveraging market power...into related markets, is a key reason for the creation of a specialised digital platforms branch ..to build on and develop expertise in digital markets and the use of algorithms”
END of first (quick and biased) read. *Enough* to tame the tech giants?
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