‘Look at that penalty’: After receiving on Google and Facebook, Rod Sims withdraws ACCC warning Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

O*utgoing director of combat Rod Sims says foreign companies that operate businesses in Australia have no excuse for ignoring national security laws, warning that there will be many more serious consequences.

He also said in an interview that due to the damage incurred by Covid-19, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is again giving companies permission to cooperate illegally.

He said efforts to force large technical companies to deal with commercial transactions with media outlets had been successful, and he defended his campaign to make big mergers more difficult.

Sims, the financial discipline chair for ACCC, will complete five terms in an 11-year office span, making him the longest service controller boss.

He will be replaced by Gina Cass-Gottlieb, a competition lawyer who represented companies in the stoushes with the ACCC.


Sims was serving as chair, successfully struggling to increase funds due to breaches in Australia’s consumer protection laws in 2018 and more recently, making a campaign to facilitate ACCC mergers shutting down – a bill that prosecutor Josh Frydenberg lacks. enthusiasm.

The ACCC chair said the increased fines could mean companies are no longer able to sweep away penalties to pay a user’s Australian law to the cost of doing business.

He contracted an $11m fine imposed on the Flight Center under the old law (to $12.5m after the ACCC was called out), with earnings of $125m penalty against Volkswagen for deceiving customers and a diesel emissions standards breach and $50m against Telstra earlier this year. Last year, more than 100 native Australians were not aware of and could not afford mobile phone agreements.

The ACCC is now awaiting a trial on the size of the hotel booking website Trivago that it would pay after it was found that consumers were mistaken in promising to show them the cheapest apartments, but in fact backers who paid it the most.

He is seeking a $90m fine while Trivago disputed he would pay only $15m.

“When you violate the law and you receive a low penalty, compared to the size of the company, it sends a signal to everybody that it just doesn’t matter,” Sims said.

“So you’re all sitting there holding fast and saying, “Wow, they should do something wrong, look at the punishment.”

“Yes, it’s a very big thing and we anticipate something will drive even more in the years to come.”

Pandemia response

Sims has also spent much of the past two years dealing with the Crown’s crisis, including using them to maintain massive supermarket shelves by giving Coles, Woolworths and other workers permission to cooperate with each other in ways that are illegal.

Work is continuing thanks to Omicron’s new variant of bringing in salt water hazards and the numbers that caused Christmas shortages and the global logistics crisis.

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At the top of the crisis, the ACCC granted thirty-three grants in three weeks, “which was a huge 16-hour day effort for many people, since we regularly performed 30 of them a year,” Sims said.

“We thought about them now.

“But what’s going on right now, we’re also obtaining continual requests for those health authorities–hospitals co-operation or medical supplies and such materials–and in logistics, you know we just can’t move this stuff.

Taking great tech

2021 is also the year Sims and Morrison took control of the fight with big technological companies including Google and Facebook dominating the media market.

In an extraordinary act of corporate aggression, Facebook banned its news from its site in Australia over a code that would demand social media payments.

Social media turned upside down after the multinational improved the code of governance.

Since its introduction Google and Facebook have launched two media companies, the Guardian Australia, to pay attention to their news content.

Sims said the code was “stuningly successful” and valued the business “well over $200ma last year” in Australia’s media industry.

He has rejected the criticism that the code allows to avoid important technical problems dealing with smaller media companies.

“There are a few players who don’t yet play,” he said.

And while I think it should be discussed on the one hand, it’s hard enough to fall short of the bargaining code with companies that 98% of journalists employ – finishing up the number – got deals.

Merger ‘long game’

While Sims and the government have worked diligently on the code, its legislative reform proposals have hitherto fallen on deaf ears. Sims said the ACCC is winning 80% of its lawsuits, but when it comes to trying to prevent court bailiffs, it drops to nothing.

“Over the last eight years, we’ve lost 20 and haven’t won one, but I remember we’ve won four to five mergers in a year and we still stop going because we know they can’t get it and win they must,” he said.

He wants the law reform to make it easier for the ACCC to win over the subdued norms regulator meets – but in the present case that the merger “substantially lessens the competition” – and also wants to make it compulsory for the corporate future. to inform the suitors before the marriage was over.

The weaknesses of the present study do not bother him.

“Deliberately I said that while this was wiped out there, that it was after the election that the government – as it should be – was destroyed by the pandemic.

“I think, therefore, that this is a controversy, that it should be postponed to a good start. The game is long.”

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