Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, explores how social media behemoth Facebook has been under fire from governments and regulators around the globe. One of the latest authorities to take aim is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its Inquiry into Digital Platforms and their impact on media and advertising sectors.
In this podcast, Facebook’s Associate General Counsel, Competition, Sam Knox explains why Facebook regards many of the findings to be flawed and why the company believes proposed new measures are either “misguided” or might actually “harm” consumers. The Inquiry website, with links to the Preliminary report and submissions, can be found here.
Postscript: In yet more bad news for Facebook, the German competition authority has decided that its fusion of data sets from across different services constitutes an exploitative abuse of dominance and has made orders for data separation in the absence of user consent. The Bundeskartellamt’s decision is here and Facebook’s initial response here. Aside from helping to organise the interview, Facebook had no other input into the production of this episode.
Caron Beaton-Wells is a Professor specialising in competition law at the Melbourne Law School and Director of the University’s Competition Law & Economics Network and Global Competition and Consumer Law Program. Her research and teaching in this field extends beyond the law to institutional, political and sociological dimensions of competition policy, and her recent research projects have focussed on competition and privacy in the context of digital platforms, competition and fairness in concentrated industries, challenges in cartel law and enforcement and the interface between competition and consumer law. She is the host of the podcast show, Competition Lore, exploring the challenges of competition in a digital economy.
Caron has been Associate Dean of the Law School’s undergraduate and masters programs and a member of the School’s executive management team. She is currently Program Director for the School’s first online masters program, in global competition and consumer law. Professor Beaton-Wells has taught a range of competition law-related subjects in Juris Doctor and masters programs. She is a regular speaker at competition law conferences and is often asked to comment in the media on competition law issues. She is also the Director of the University of Melbourne Competition Law & Economics Network and convenes the Network’s regular events, including the flagship Annual Baxt Public Lecture in Competition Law.
Her engagement activity involves contributing to the public discourse in Australia and around the world on significant competition law-related issues and on bringing together and fostering constructive debate and shared learning amongst stakeholders. Caron is a member of several national and international editorial and advisory boards, has consulted to the OECD, ASEAN, SSNED and the New Zealand Government, is a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network and the Law School’s representative on UNCTAD’s Research Partnership Platform. Formerly a solicitor at (now) King & Wood Mallesons, Caron is also a member of the Law Council of Australia’s competition and consumer and small business committees.