The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recently completed an in-depth 18 month inquiry into Australia’s digital advertising technology (adtech) services markets. The final report from that inquiry was publicly released on 28 September 2021. The inquiry examined in detail the intensity of competition in adtech markets, as well as efficiency and transparency issues. The final report concluded that Google has used its dominant position in the ad tech supply chain in an anti-competitive manner. The ACCC has recommended that new regulatory solutions are required to restore competition for the benefit of businesses and consumers.
ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, has indicated that in this inquiry, as in the case of other inquiries the ACCC has undertaken regarding digital markets, the ACCC has worked closely with competition regulators internationally. The final report accordingly highlights issues that concern regulators globally and suggests responses that may be implemented beyond Australia. The webinar will therefore look not only at the ACCC’s views but will compare global adtech competition developments.
Chairman, Sydney Australia
Rod Sims was appointed Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in August 2011 for an initial five-year term, reappointed for a further three years in August 2016, and reappointed again for a further three years until July 2022, making him the longest serving Chair of the ACCC.
Rod has extensive business and public sector experience. Immediately prior to his appointment to the ACCC, he was the Chairman of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales (IPART), Commissioner on the National Competition Council, Chairman of InfraCo Asia, Director of Ingeus Limited, and a member of the Research and Policy Council of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. Rod was also a Director of Port Jackson Partners Limited, where he advised the CEOs and boards of some of Australia’s top 50 companies on commercial corporate strategy over many years. Rod relinquished all of these roles on becoming Chair of the ACCC.
Rod is also a past Chairman of the NSW Rail Infrastructure Corporation and the State Rail Authority and has been a director of a number of private sector companies. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rod worked as the Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet responsible for economic, infrastructure and social policy and the Cabinet Office. He also worked as Deputy Secretary in the Department of Transport and Communications. Between 1988 and 1990 Rod was the Economic Advisor to Australia’s Prime Minister.
Rod holds a first-class honours degree in commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Economics from the Australian National University.
Clifford Chance, Sydney
Dave Poddar is a Partner at Clifford Chance Sydney's Office. He has over 20 years' experience in competition/antitrust law and heads the firm's Asia-Pacific antitrust practice. He has worked on significant clearances for Australian M&A and international joint ventures and alliances. Dave has also worked on infrastructure access and regulatory matters as well as advising on competition agency investigations and cartel matters. Dave is acting for Epic Games in its proceedings against Apple and Google.
John has worked as a business columnist and reporter for over 40 years, starting with The Australian Financial Review in the Canberra Press Gallery in 1981. He was appointed US correspondent for The Australian in 1989 having previously been the Paris based European correspondent for the Australian Financial Review in 1984-85. John was with the New York Post from 1993 to 1996 and on his return to Australia was the founding writer of the Australian Financial Review Street Talk column. John was Chanticleer columnist for the Australian Financial Review for 13 years in two stints, the first from 1985 to 1989 and the second from June 1998 to 2007. For the last 14 years John wrote a business column for The Australian, a national daily in Australia. He has covered competition policy for much of his career starting as the beat reporter on the Trade Practices Commission in 1980 under the term of the late Ron Bannerman and then covered the terms of the late Bob McComas and Bob Baxt, Allan Fels, Graeme Samuel and Rod Sims.
John has degrees in Arts and law from Macquarie University and is married with three children.
Partner and Chairman of Antitrust Group
Clifford Chance, Brussels
Thomas Vinje is a partner in the Brussels office of Clifford Chance and Co-Chair of the firm's global antitrust practice. Thomas specialises in European Union competition and intellectual property law, especially in technology matters. He has particular experience in advising in relation to the information and communications technology industries.
Thomas practices mainly before the European Commission and the European Courts. Over the years, he has undertaken a number of pro bono missions in Latin America on behalf of the Open Society Foundation, advocating balanced intellectual property legislation and appropriate enforcement of antitrust laws against digital monopolies. Thomas speaks regularly on European Union intellectual property and antitrust law, and has authored numerous articles and contributions to books on those topics. He sits on the Board of Editors for "Computer und Recht International" and "European Intellectual Property Review". He lectures in the International Copyright programme at the University of Amsterdam and in the International Business Law Postgraduate Program at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Holding Redlich, Sydney
Angela is a partner with Holding Redlich. Angela has over 20 years’ corporate law experience in transactional and regulatory matters, with a focus on data, telecommunications, media and technology. Angela's experience includes assisting clients in making submissions to Government consultation processes on regulatory reform, providing advice to government agencies in investigations and regulatory enforcement (including regarding privacy regulation) and advising corporates regarding competition, consumer protection and privacy issues relating to telecommunications, technology and ad tech.
Prior to joining Holding Redlich in 2017, Angela was General Counsel and First Assistant Secretary at the Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts. Angela is a member of the auDA Licence Review Panel (auDA is Australia’s domain name administrator); an officer of the Communications Law Committee of the International Bar Association; and a member of the Australian management committee for the International Institute of Communications, Australian Chapter.
Dina is a researcher, lawyer, and entrepreneur. She’s also a Fellow with the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University. Most recently, Ms. Srinivasan’s research and economic analysis of new, tech markets provided the foundation for government enforcement of antitrust laws against two of the largest market cap companies in the world. Her 2020 research, “Why Google Dominates Advertising Markets: Competition Policy Should Lean on the Principles of Financial Market Regulation“, explains how Google distorts electronically traded ad markets by engaging in conduct that lawmakers normally prohibit (e.g., conduct analogous to insider trading and front running). Her research instigated a shift in the House and Senate and a coalition of U.S. States subsequently filed suit against the company relying on the architecture of Ms. Srinivasan’s thinking. “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook”, published in 2019, laid out the correlation between privacy and economics. Congress called on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation; and in 2020, the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of 48 Attorneys General filed actions against Facebook. She’s been profiled by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her research and commentary on tech and competition are regularly covered in the domestic and global media. View full profile
Yang Xu leads the Ad Tech practice at Keystone Strategy, a global strategy, economics, and digital technology consultancy. At Keystone, Yang has led projects focused on digital platform competition issues, spanning digital advertising services, mobile operating systems, and cloud services. Many of these projects have resulted in briefings and economic analysis for competition authorities. Previously, Yang worked as a consultant at Treacy & Company, a growth strategy consulting firm. Yang has a B.A. in Economics and Math from Northwestern University.