The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was named Government Agency of the Year this week at an international awards ceremony recognising the world’s top government enforcers, lawyers, academics and economists in the field of competition policy.
The Global Competition Review’s award judges bestowed the accolade in Washington DC on Wednesday (in Australia’s timezone), while ACCC chair Rod Sims was in the US capital, where he was also lined up to speak at the American Bar Association Spring Conference and the Federal Trade Commission Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.
“We are honoured that our work has been acknowledged on the global stage, in what has been a year of incredibly hard work for the Commission,” Sims said in a statement.
“I’m very proud of our teams right across the ACCC for the passion, commitment and innovation they bring to our work. I’m also grateful for the expert and strategic thinking of my fellow Commissioners and the robust decision making processes we have that enable us to take risks and be confident in our decision making.”
According to the ACCC:
The GCR highlighted the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry and the complex Nine-Fairfax merger decision. In 2018, the ACCC also took its first gun-jumping case against Cryosite, a stem cell storage company, and reached another milestone in its decade-long price-fixing case against airlines with Air New Zealand being the 14th airline to be fined in those proceedings.
GCR also noted ACCC Chair Rod Sims’ reappointment in 2018 for a further three-year term, saying “he is credited with stewarding the authority’s criminal cartel enforcement work, introduced the year before he started, and the strengthening of Australia’s abuse of dominance law.”
Other nominees in the category included Canada’s Competition Bureau, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s Antitrust Division and Portugal’s Competition Authority.