An analysis of the implications of the mobile applications market for Australian communications regulation and consumer protections
This occasional paper provides an analysis of the mobile applications market through an examination of three of the largest App stores. The analysis is designed to identify emerging issues for consumers. It examines the value chain and business models of applications development and use over web, mobile platforms and managed services in order to identify potential regulatory issues in the mobile applications market and consider a range of issues faced by consumers.
The mobile applications market is one of a range of developments reshaping communications markets through changes in technology and use. As a significant and evolving market, the mobile applications market illustrates a variety of issues being raised by convergence in the communications sector, and the challenges for the ACMA.
Like the mobile premium services market, the mobile applications market is characterised by extended value chains and multiple players, which adds complexity to the service-related aspects of the market. This complexity has the potential to create issues around the delivery of policy outcomes like privacy and the protection of children via mechanisms such as content classification and access restrictions and controls. There are also potential issues around consumers’ ability to measure their data use via apps, the associated clarity of charging arrangements for data, and resultant potential for consumer bill shock.
The ACMA is monitoring the mobile applications market in order to balance the provision of consumer protections and safeguards with the need to allow innovation in a competitive and efficient market.
The paper ‘Emerging business models in the digital economy: The Mobile applications market’ is one in a series of occasional papers exploring current issues in regulation.