Rod Sims Interview

Australia’s veteran competition chief speaks to MLex about the inquiry into tech giants that has brought him notoriety and the challenges that remain ahead.

February 2020

In its dispassionate examination of Facebook and Google’s business models, which garnered worldwide attention last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission argued that the under-regulation of digital platforms has distorted competition, handed a few companies unprecedented market power and left consumers vulnerable.

Critics argued that a competition watchdog had no business probing issues of privacy, data and even the social benefits of media diversity. But the man behind it — ACCC Chairman Rod Sims — is contemptuous of the criticism.

In a candid, wide-ranging interview with MLex, Sims says he simply did the job Canberra gave him. And if his findings have thrust him onto the world stage and antagonized the world’s most powerful digital players, well, so be it. He remains unapologetic — and has plenty more to say in pursuit of a level playing field.

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