The ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, has announced the launch of the ACCC’s Enforcement and Compliance priorities for 2018. Covering areas such as access to data and consumer guarantee rights, the priorities determine where the ACCC directs its attention to provide the greatest benefit for competition and consumers

Of particular note to fintech businesses is the focus on competition issues in the financial services sector and issues concerning the use of digital platforms, algorithms and consumer data. As announced in the Budget 2017-18, the ACCC’s Financial Services Unit has been further resourced to proactively identify and investigate competition issues in the sector and conduct market studies.

In addition, the ACCC is expected to release its Issues Paper for its inquiry into digital platforms with a preliminary report due at the end of 2018. The 18-month inquiry is expected to focus on emerging markets and examines the impact of search engines, social media, and other internet aggregators in relation to competition. The inquiry will have particular regard for media content creators, advertisers and consumers, but  this is also the first inquiry to investigate the competition and consumer implications of customer data being sold by digital platforms more broadly. The ACCC will be able to compel information from relevant companies under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).