Interim authorisation for car rental companies revoked due to COVID-19

The ACCC has revoked an interim authorisation due to the change in market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACCC granted the interim authorisation in February to five major car rental companies to jointly negotiate with Cairns Airport including discussions about their lease agreement for space, such as parking bays and counter space at the airport.

The very bad, and some good, from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically changing the global economic landscape and causing severe disruption to Australian small businesses, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said today.

“Many small businesses are doing it tough, and are being forced to restrict their hours, lay off staff and, for too many, close their doors,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims was speaking via Zoom at an event organised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Mining companies allowed to co-operate during COVID-19 pandemic

Members of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and other mining associations will be able to work together to manage critical services and supplies during the COVID 19 pandemic, after the ACCC granted interim authorisation for the arrangements today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages and supply chain disruptions for some critical services and supplies used by the mining sector.

Temporary exemptions under Consumer Data Right

Three-month exemptions have been granted to financial services providers required to share product reference data by 1 July 2020, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary exemptions under the Consumer Data Right, until 1 October, will apply to non-major ADIs, including non-major banks, building societies and credit unions, and extend to non-primary brand products offered by the major banks.

The major banks have been sharing product reference data since July 2019.

7-Eleven and franchisees authorised to co-operate on store opening times

7-Eleven and its franchisees have been granted conditional interim authorisation to discuss potential temporary store closures or reduced trading hours in light of reduced customer demand because of COVID-19 restrictions.

7-Eleven owns and operates stores in competition with its franchisees in some areas and therefore discussions and agreements between them risk breaching the competition laws.

Retailers granted authorisation to collectively negotiate with landlords

The ACCC has granted interim authorisation allowing retailers to collectively bargain with landlords about rent relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interim authorisation, granted to the Australian Retailers Association and its current and future members, will also allow retailers to share information relevant to the negotiations including in relation to requests by landlords for certain information as part of considering and negotiating support to be provided in the context of COVID-19.

Private and public hospitals in NT and SA authorised to cooperate on COVID-19 response

Private hospitals and health agencies in the Northern Territory and South Australia respectively will be able to cooperate in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, following separate interim authorisations granted by the ACCC today.

Today’s interim authorisations granted to each of the Northern Territory and the State of South Australia follow similar authorisations granted to Victoria and Queensland earlier this month.