“Telstra and Optus Cooperate with ACCC in Google Search Antitrust Investigation”

Australia, Finance

Article: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received undertakings from Telstra and Optus as part of its ongoing antitrust investigation into Google’s search services in Australia.

The agreements, initiated by Google, required its search services to be pre-installed as the default search service on Android devices supplied by the two companies.

We are grateful for the cooperation of Telstra and Optus in responding to the ACCC’s competition concerns,” said ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver.

The undertakings will allow alternative search engines to compete to be a default search engine on the Android devices these companies supply.

Telstra and Optus have both undertaken not to renew or enter any new agreements with Google requiring its search services to be pre-installed as the exclusive default search function on devices they supply, after 30 June 2024.

The undertakings from Telstra and Optus are a significant step in providing Australian consumers with more choice about the digital platforms and services they use.

The ACCC is continuing its investigation into Google’s alleged anticompetitive conduct more broadly.

The ACCC’s investigation arose from its consideration of competition and consumer issues in its Digital Platform Services Inquiry, which found that Google’s search engine being pre-installed as a default search service on devices contributed to its dominance in the market.

Globally, a range of measures are underway to protect and boost competition in the digital economy.

Reform to Australia’s competition and consumer laws, particularly to create targeted service-specific mandatory codes of conduct for certain digital platforms to prevent anti-competitive conduct, remains critically important,” said Ms.

Carver.

Sources: [1]Australian Communications and Media Authority, Trends and developments in telecommunications 2022-23, December 2023, p 9; [2]Statcounter, Desktop Search Engine Market Share Australia: September 2021 – January 2024, accessed 15 February 2024; Mobile Search Engine Market Share Australia: September 2021 – January 2024, accessed 29 February 2024.

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