Your data at risk in takeovers

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 21-Aug-19

Foreign Investment Review Board chairman David Irvine has stressed the need to closely scrutinise foreign bids for companies that own data centres or hold Australians’ personal data. Irvine has used an Australia China Business Council speech to argue that data must be afforded the same level of protection as critical infrastructure such as ports, water supply and the power sector. He added that the FIRB’s tougher stance on the issue of data security has not attracted much concern among foreign investors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA CHINA BUSINESS COUNCIL, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, AUSTRALIA. CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR, SIRTEX MEDICAL LIMITED, NATURE’S CARE, LIFE-SPACE GROUP, HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE LIMITED

Stop arguing: Industrial Relations tsar’s call to bosses, unions

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 16-Aug-19

Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross says he agrees with Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott that improving living standards relies on boosting productivity. However, he has queried her claim that the Fair Work Act’s ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT) is a "productivity killer", with the BCA recently saying it wants it replaced with a different test . Ross says doing away with the BOOT could lift profits and reduce wages, but may not necessarily lift productivity. He noted the BCA proposal had received a "predictable response" from Labor and the ACTU that it was Work Choices Mark II.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Exorbitant registry fees in ASIC’s sights

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 21 : 15-Aug-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is believed to be launching an investigation into the exit fees charged by share registry providers Computershare and Boardroom. This follows a complaint by fellow provider Automic, which stated to the ACCC in December that competition in the share registry sector was being stifled by the ‘exit fees’ that Computershare and Boardroom were charging clients who wanted to shift their business. A Computershare spokesperson has stated that it does not engage in anti-competitive practice.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, COMPUTERSHARE LIMITED – ASX CPU, BOARDROOM LIMITED, AUTOMIC

ACCC poised to take tech giants to court

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 14-Aug-19

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is close to launching five cases against Google and Facebook in the aftermath of its digital platforms inquiry. The cases are understood to involve alleged breaches of consumer, competition and privacy laws, with ACCC chairman Rod Sims saying on 13 August that Facebook and Google must comply with Australia’s laws if they wish to do business here. He said a decision on whether to proceed with the five cases would be made before the end of 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Banks rule OK on loan repayments as Westpac beats ASIC

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: Online : 14-Aug-19

The Federal Court has dismissed claims by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission that Westpac had breached the responsible lending rules. ASIC’s case against Westpac had been closely observed by lenders, with the responsible lending rules being used by banks to determine a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. In rejecting ASIC’s case against Westpac, Justice Federal Court judge Nye Perram stated Westpac should not be automatically compelled to consider a borrower’s declared living expenses, and should be free to make use of spending benchmarks.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Big Tech inquiry lauded abroad

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 25 : 5-Aug-19

The final report of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s inquiry into digital platforms has received strong support from the global media industry. News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern says the US government should hold a similar inquiry into the market power of digital players such as Google and Facebook. Meanwhile, the UK News Media Association’s deputy CEO Lynne Anderson says the federal government should act quickly on the ACCC’s recommendations.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NEWS MEDIA ALLIANCE, NEWS MEDIA ASSOCIATION, GREAT BRITAIN. COMPETITION AND MARKETS AUTHORITY, EUCLID LAW

Digital giants to feel watchdog’s bite

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 24 : 29-Jul-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the proposed code of conduct for digital platforms would be compulsory, and any breaches of the code would attract large penalties. He adds that the code would result in new sources of revenue for media companies, and argues that in many ways digital platforms are publishers and should therefore be treated like publishers. The code of conduct is amongst the recommendations in the ACCC’s final report on its inquiry into digital platforms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Mergers loom as regulator changes tactics

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 18-Jul-19

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres concedes that regulating superannuation funds is more problematic than banks, as the latter are not subject to capital requirements. Ian Fryer of Chant West says APRA will be much more proactive in regulating the super industry in the wake of its capability review, adding that increased regulatory attention may accelerate consolidation in the sector. Cbus also anticipates merger activity in the sector as underperforming funds come under greater scrutiny.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

APRA ordered to toughen up

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 17-Jul-19

A report has concluded that an overhaul of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s internal culture and regulatory approach is needed. Former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel headed the capability review, which was undertaken in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. APRA and the federal government have accepted all of the review’s recommendations, which include increased oversight of banks and superannuation funds.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Culture to cost big three banks $500m

Original article by James Fernyhough, James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 21 : 12-Jul-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has imposed additional capital requirements on Westpac, the ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank following its review of their culture, governance and accountability self-assessments. They will have to set aside an extra $500m of capital until their customer remediation programs are completed and they have addressed all of the issues that emerged in their self-assessments. The increased capital requirements will have a slight impact on the three banks’ common equity tier 1 capital ratios.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY