Tech titans told: strike news deal now

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 6-Apr-20

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller says technology companies are the big winners from increased demand for the content of news publishers. Miller believes that the federal government will need to bring forward its November deadline for the digital giants to secure a revenue-sharing deal with traditional media companies. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is due to release a progress report on the issue in May, and chairman Rod Sims has warned that it may intervene if the report shows that sufficient progress has not been made.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Cut prices to below $1.20, oil giants told

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 3 : 31-Mar-20

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims notes the slump in oil prices is good for the economy, given Australia is an importer of oil. Sims says that given Australian consumers are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, they should not be expected to have to buy petrol at above $1.30 a litre. Sims says prices should be, at worse, under $1.20, and "heading considerably lower". Sims is confident the Australian economy will quickly recover once the COVID-19 crisis is over.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

APRA probes bank, insurer virus plans

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 28-Feb-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has not updated its guidelines on pandemics since 2013, but the coronavirus outbreak has prompted it to activate Prudential Practice Guide CPG 233 – Pandemic Planning. APRA has asked financial institutions such as banks, insurers and superannuation funds to demonstrate that they are sufficiently prepared for a global pandemic. Westpac has responded to the outbreak by imposing a ban on employees travelling to China for business purposes, while AMP is requiring some employees in coronavirus epicentres to work from home.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

ACCC takes fight up to digital giants

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 26-Feb-20

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has advised that it now has more than 10 active investigations into digital platforms, compared with five when the final report into its landmark inquiry into the sector was released in July. ACCC chairman Rod Sims says it is examining both competition and consumer issues in relation to digital platforms. He notes that the use and abuse of consumers’ data by such platforms is one of the key concerns.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

ABCC defends focus on pursuing unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 23-Jan-20

Labor senator Tony Sheldon has accused the Australian Building & Construction Commission of unfairly targeting unions, while failing to give sufficient attention to the unlawful conduct of employers. Data from the ABCC shows that it has spent $3.179m on legal proceedings against unions, officials and employees since 2016, and just $164,336 on legal action against employers. The ABCC has successfully prosecuted the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy some 86 times over this period.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

APRA blasts banks over risk failures

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Jan-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is undertaking on-site reviews of the governance, culture, risk and accountability frameworks of the nation’s major banks. APRA chairman Wayne Byres says the initial findings show that changes to these frameworks are needed. Byres has signalled that smaller banks and other financial services providers will also be held accountable. APRA is also APRA is revising the CPS 220 prudential standard.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

Drop hurdle rates or risk missing out

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 7 : 3-Jan-20

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has urged local companies to lower their ‘hurdle rates’ for investment returns to reflect lower rates. His comments regarding lower hurdle rates echo those of federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe. Sims says if firms do not adjust their hurdle rates, Australia will forgo business investment, while overseas companies with more realistic hurdle rates will acquire more local assets. Sims has also urged the corporate sector to back his push for new laws that outlaw unfair business practices.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

JPMorgan helped identify cartel bankers

Original article by Pamela Williams
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 6-Dec-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is taking criminal cartel action against the ANZ Bank, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank, as well as six of their executives. The ACCC’s action relates to a $2.5 billion capital raising by ANZ, with the ACCC alleging that bankers from the three companies conspired to restrict the supply of or maintain the price of ANZ shares following the capital raising. Former JP Morgan executive Richard Galvin has told the New South Wales Local Court that he had listened to covert phone recordings to help the ACCC identify bankers on the calls.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, LOCAL COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Facebook faces probe on currency

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 6-Nov-19

Austrac is among eight Australian financial regulators that will undertake an investigation into plans by social media giant Facebook to launch a cryptocurrency. The regulators are expected to use their formal powers to compel Facebook to disclose details of its proposal for the Libra digital currency. The concerns about Libra are believed to include its potential impact on national security, privacy and financial markets.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

New ACCC case targets Google

Original article by Paul Smith, Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 22 : 5-Nov-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is preparing an antitrust case against Google over the collapse of mobile advertising group Unlockd. The ACCC’s case will centre on whether Google’s conduct in relation to Unlockd constituted a breach of section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, which prohibits the misuse of market power. Google is also the subject of antitrust proceedings in the US.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE INCORPORATED, UNLOCKD PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ROKT PTY LTD, FITBIT INCORPORATED