Google has come out strongly against the claims made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in its digital platforms review and has spoken against the suggestion that its business requires tougher regulatory scrutiny in Australia, according to a report by ZDNet.
This latest comment by Google comes in the light of the observation made by ACCC that the substantial market power held by Google and Facebook required for the validity of information shared on these two platforms.
At the launch of the ‘Digital Platforms Inquiry Preliminary Report’ ACCC Chairman said, “The world has found itself in a position where such market power is held by a handful of entities, and that they need to be held accountable and placed under the microscope for additional scrutiny.”
As per the report, nearly 19 million Australians use Google, whereas 17 million access Facebook. It is also worthwhile to note here that nearly 17 million watch YouTube, whereas 11 million access Facebook-owned Instagram each month.
The search engine giant in its 74-page rebuttal claimed that additional regulatory oversight, as put forward by the ACCC, was unnecessary and there was no need for it.
The company said:
“The Preliminary Report does not identify any instances in which Google has allegedly favored its own products that are anticompetitive. Should the ACCC believe there are credible concerns in the future, it has the power and authority under existing law to investigate them.”
Rejecting claims of non-competitive behavior, Google reiterated the fact that it offered users relevant results and most of these cases did not present any competitive concerns.
Similarly, the search engine giant also said that the publisher’s concern about referral traffic didn’t merit new regulation.
“We believe government regulation of our search results with regard to the treatment of certain news publishers’ content should be considered only in response to the strongest, clearest evidence of harm to consumers,” it added.
Speaking about the issue of original content, Google said that its Webmaster Guidelines cautioned sites against duplicating original content, but in some cases it becomes unavoidable.
Google also emphasized the fact that privacy-related recommendations made by ACCC should apply for all organizations that are currently under the Privacy Act and it should not be applicable to just digital platforms that meet a particular threshold.