The preliminary report contains 11 recommendations for companies and eight areas for further analysis. Facebook, in particular, has been under increased scrutiny worldwide after a series of scandals around users' data and a proliferation of fake news on its platform.
Consumers would be better off if they could make informed and genuine choices as to how digital platforms collect and use their data, the ACCC said, proposing changes to the Privacy Act to enable consumers to make informed decisions.
"The inquiry has also uncovered some concerns that certain digital platforms have breached competition or consumer laws, and the ACCC is now investigating five such allegations to determine if enforcement action is warranted", Mr Sims said.
"Digital platforms are also unavoidable business partners for many Australian businesses".
He said the companies' enormous market share - Google has a 94 percent share of web searches in Australia - and opaque methods for ranking advertisements gave the firms the ability and incentive to favor their businesses over advertisers'. "Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses", Sims said.
The report suggests a separate review of the media industry be commissioned to review regulations affecting the media and communications industries, including rules around the production and delivery of content.
Serious concerns have also been raised about the social media giants' willingness to crack down on ad fraud and their use of algorithms to determine what content and advertising users see, the Australian newspaper said on Monday. "This has implications across society because of the important role the media plays in exposing corruption and holding governments, companies, powerful individuals and institutions to account", he said.
This has happened because they claim to offer advertisers a product traditional media never could: ads that will reach exactly the people most likely to buy your product. The ACCC has said its proposals are liable to change, however recommends giving the new controller insightful forces to look at how the organizations rank promotions and news articles.
"While the preliminary report is focused on news and journalistic content, we note Google and Facebook also have a massive impact on producers of all Australian content and we hope this preliminary report is a first step towards taking real action to address the effect they have on all Australian businesses and consumers", he said.
The ACCC believes the dominance of platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight.
"In the preliminary report that we've released today we've formed the view that the digital platforms have got market power; we've formed the view in addition that they have significantly disrupted media and journalism and their business models". "But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation", Sims added.