Free TV Australia notes the release of the ACCC’s second interim report as part of its Inquiry into Markets for the Supply of Digital Platform Services.
Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said: “While this interim report does highlight some important issues in relation to the dominance of Google and Apple in mobile apps, it is disappointing that it does not consider the rapidly developing marketplaces on connected TVs and related devices.
“With the growing penetration of Smart TVs in our homes, these devices will increasingly become the gatekeepers for access to free television channels and broadcaster apps. It is very important that Smart TVs are recognised as just another app marketplace and should be carefully examined as part of the ACCC’s app stores Inquiry.
“As all free-to-air broadcasters noted in their submissions to the ACCC, the dominant TV manufacturers are now unavoidable trading partners for our sector. The Android operating system is now widespread in many leading Smart TVs.
“Many TV manufacturers and aggregators are requiring a share of revenue earned through our apps in their marketplaces in return for being featured. This puts pressure on the sustainability of the businesses who are the largest investors in the local content that Australians rely on.
“Our international counterparts in the UK and Canada are well down the track in recognising the importance of discoverability for free television services and apps. Regulation is required to protect the prominence of apps that provide free services of cultural and social benefit to all Australians,” Ms Fair said.
A copy of the original Free TV submission to the ACCC can be found here.