Terms of Reference

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in 2023:

The nature and extent of international digital platforms operated by large overseas-based multinational technology companies - so called ‘Big Tech’ - exerting power and influence over markets and public debate, to the detriment of Australian democracy and users, with particular reference to:

  1. the market shares of such international digital platforms across the provision of hardware and software services;
  2. vertical integration, or linking of multiple services, products and/or hardware, within such international digital platforms and resultant outcomes on users’ ability to exercise choice;
  3. whether algorithms used by such international digital platforms lack transparency, manipulate users and user responses, and contribute to greater concentrations of market power and how regulating this behaviour could lead to better outcomes in the public interest;
  4. the collection and processing of children’s data, particularly for the purposes of profiling, behavioural advertising, or other uses;
  5. the adequacy and effectiveness of recent attempts, in Australia and internationally, to regulate the activities of such international digital platforms;
  6. broader impacts of concentration of market power on consumers, competition and macro-economic performance, and potential solutions; and
  7. any other related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3540