cyber daily logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter X facebook linkedin Instagram Instagram

ACCC to look at competition among search engines

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is looking for consumer and business feedback on the state of search engine competition.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 19 Mar 2024
ACCC to look at competition among search engines
expand image

Yesterday (18 March), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released an issues paper, calling on the industry, businesses, and consumers for their views on the state of competition between the major search engine providers.

The call for feedback is part of the ACCC’s five-year digital platforms survey, and the commission is looking for a specifically Australian angle on the matter, given the rate of change in overseas reforms and trends in search quality.

The introduction of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is also a focal point for the discussion.


“Significant changes have occurred since the ACCC last examined search services in 2021. We’ve seen new laws introduced overseas that place obligations on so-called gatekeeper search engines and the emergence of new technologies, like generative AI, that have changed the way consumers search for information online and may be impacting the quality of the service they are receiving,” said ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb in a statement.

“The ACCC wants to understand the impact of these developments on general search services and, ultimately, how they affect competition and consumers.”

Professor Mark Sanderson, an expert in search engines and dean of research and innovation at the STEM College at Melbourne’s RMIT, feels the ACCC’s focus on search engines comes at the right time.

“This is a timely examination of what consumers and businesses think of the search market in Australia,” Sanderson said via email.

“While I think an organisation like Google will say that the quality of its results continues to improve and are better than they have ever been, I suspect that Australian consumers and businesses may take a different view.

“While the quality of results may well have improved on a search engine like Google, the volume of advertising on the search result page has also grown, with adverts increasingly displayed in a way that makes them harder to distinguish from so-called organic results.

“It will be interesting to try to understand the inability of generative AI solutions such as ChatGPT to start taking market share from the search engines.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

cd intro podcast

Introducing Cyber Daily, the new name for Cyber Security Connect

Click here to learn all about it
cyber daily subscribe
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the cyber industry.