Facebook exec’s criticise “unprecedented” ACCC report

Facebook executives have criticised the recommendations of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) digital platforms inquiry, by calling the regulator’s proposals “unprecedented,” according to The Drum.

The proposal was launched to analyse issues about the digital advertising chain that could affect Australian advertisers, including how advertising is verified on digital platforms like Facebook and Google.

However, in a submission made in response to the release of the preliminary report, Facebook said that a number of its recommendations will restrict Australians’ access to online services and accused the ACCC of safeguarding the interest of small news publishers, and not journalism.

“The preliminary report’s near-exclusive focus on protecting certain publishers from disruption and competition is at odds with the ACCC’s mandate to promote competition and protect consumers, and misapprehends the broader challenges facing journalism and news production,” Facebook said.

Third-party measurement tools

Facebook goes on to further criticise the ACCC’s recommendation to introduce third-party measurement tools, comparing Facebook’s ad tech-stack to Google and misunderstanding how advertising is supplied and delivered on platforms like Facebook.

“The proposed level of regulatory intervention for the news regulator and ad regulator is unprecedented as far as I’ve seen,” said Samantha Knox, Facebook’s global associate general counsel for competition.

“We have serious concerns about the impact the two proposed regulators will have on Australian consumers and businesses.”

It also used its submission to highlight that the ACCC also admitted in its preliminary report that it has yet to determine if the recommendation would solve the ad industry’s measurement problems how the regulator has asked for feedback from the media industry and digital platforms on its recommendations.

“Notably, the preliminary report acknowledges that the ACCC has not determined whether such third-party measurement and verification tools have solved the problem it identifies. It is, therefore, premature and unnecessary to appoint a special government ad regulator,” said Knox.

Facebook claims also echo those made by Google in its response to the inquiry, with the search engine urging the regulator not to view it as a social media platform.

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