COVID-19 | No extension to temporary reforms to permit electronic signing of company documents

In a blow for advocates of efficiency (both technological and practical), the temporary reforms under Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 3) 2020 (Determination), which had permitted the conduct of virtual meetings, electronic execution of documents and split execution of documents under section 127 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) expired on 21 March 2021. Unless, and until, a replacement relief […]

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ACCC seeks ban on unfair trading practices

On 10 December 2020 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) released its Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry Report (the Report). Purpose of the inquiry The ACCC’s inquiry into markets for the supply of perishable agricultural goods was conducted at the direction of the Commonwealth Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP. The ACCC conducted a […]

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If it walks like a duck… Telstra’s new payphones and what they mean for the streetscape

If it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck… This is what the Full Court of the Federal Court decided in considering whether or not Telstra’s new payphone cabinets, which feature large digital billboards, constituted ‘low-impact facilities’ (which would be exempt from State and Territory planning laws).[1] Importance of decision The decision […]

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FMCG Express | October Edition

2020 continues to be an interesting year with COVID-19 still impacting our lives and businesses, although we are cautiously optimistic that we may be turning a corner here in Australia. In this edition of FMCG Express, we bring you some useful COVID-19 reading as we grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and look […]

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Senate Select Committee on Fintech and Regulatory Tech publishes interim report

The need for permanent corporate law reforms for virtual company meetings and electronic communications and signatures by companies – Senate Select Committee inquiry on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology interim report and recommendations. In September 2020, the Senate Select Committee inquiry on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology (Committee) released its interim report. The preliminary recommendations […]

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Changes to exemptions to the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth) yield mixed bag for banking industry

On 29 July 2020, the Commonwealth Government passed the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2020 (Cth) (Regulations), with changes to the scope of Commonwealth legislation that were wholly or partially exempt from the provisions of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth) (Act) (Electronic Transactions Act). Exemption from the Act previously had the effect that requirements for writing, […]

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ACCC’s scrutiny of APRA’s licence fees and royalties is music to some businesses’ ears

Everybody will be familiar with hearing music playing in the background in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants or on the radio and TV. Unless there are alternative licensing arrangements in place, these businesses are required to obtain and pay for a licence from Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to do so. The fees from these […]

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SPAM should only be found on the Supermarket shelves – not in my inbox!

A recent case in which Woolworths Group Limited (Woolworths) was fined $1,003,800 by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for over five million breaches of the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (the Spam Act) is a stark reminder of the importance of establishing and maintaining rigorous controls to ensure that commercial electronic messages are only […]

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Google’s purchase of Fitbit raises anti-competitive concerns

On 18 June 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Statement of Issues detailing its preliminary concerns with Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit. The ACCC has raised concerns with the proposed acquisition on the basis that it may provide Google with access to large volumes of consumer health data (in addition to […]

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Don’t play games with Australian consumer rights

The Federal Court has ordered that Sony Interactive Entertainment Network (Sony) pay AUD$3.5 million in penalties as a result of making false and misleading representations to consumers in connection with their rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Background Sony is incorporated in the United Kingdom and is responsible for the PlayStation Network (PSN). It […]

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COVID-19 | COVIDSafe update: legislation and source code

The Commonwealth Parliament has now passed legislation to regulate the collection and use of COVID app data. In addition, the Commonwealth Digital Transformation Agency has now released the source code for the app, which has allowed independent analysis of how the app operates. This update discusses the legislation and the commentary in relation to the […]

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COVID-19 | Emergency Measures in Victoria – Electronic execution of deeds and mortgages, and remote witnessing

On 24 April 2020, the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 received Royal Assent. That Act made sweeping changes in various areas, on a temporary basis, to address many practical issues being faced due to the various restrictions in force to seek to minimise the spread of COVID-19. That Act permitted the Governor […]

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