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Toby Patten

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Toby Patten is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Technology and Healthcare teams in Melbourne. He joined the Firm in March 2005.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 received royal assent on 9 November and is now in force. Maximum penalties for contraventions of the CCA and ACL have significantly increased, effective immediately, exposing business to very substantial risk. The need for robust policies, systems and training to ensure compliance with the legislation has never been more important.

On 28 September 2022, the Government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022. If passed, the Bill will: introduce a civil penalty regime prohibiting the use of and reliance on unfair contract terms in standard form contracts; increase the maximum penalties that may be awarded for breaches of the civil penalty provisions in Parts IV, IVBA, X and XICA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (and under the Australian Consumer Law to the greater of AUD 50 million, if the court can determine the value of the benefit obtained — three times the value of that benefit, if the court cannot determine the value of the benefit obtained — 30% of the body corporate’s adjusted turnover during the breach turnover period for the offence, act or omission, and increase the maximum civil penalty for breaches by telecommunications providers of the Competition Rule, to up to AUD 71 million plus AUD 3 million for every day that a contravention continues in the most serious cases.

In March 2022, Baker McKenzie’s Data Privacy & Security Team across offices presented the Asia Pacific edition of Deciphering Data, the Firm’s webinar series that aims to help companies and organisations decode complex developments in data privacy and cybersecurity. Our diverse team of cross-border experts offered their expertise and insight in this webinar series to help you understand the legal lay of the land and prepare for the future of privacy in Asia Pacific and beyond.

Explore Data PULSE, a platform which helps you to navigate the complex landscape of data, regulatory and IP protection concerns at each stage of the medical product life cycle. As you navigate through each key issue, Data PULSE will help you to identify and mitigate risks across multiple jurisdictions and optimize your strategy through research, market authorization and post-market study phases.

In March 2022, Australian Securities & Investments Commission published a response to submissions received to its consultation on review of the ePayments Code. In its response, ASIC proposed various revisions to the current voluntary code, including that scam payments will no longer be regarded as “mistaken internet payments” and reporting requirements for unauthorized transactions will change.

On 28 February 2022, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission opened a public consultation on options for legislative reform to address concerns relating to the perceived dominance of certain digital platform services in Australia. The consultation discussion paper outlines options for addressing potential perceived harms to competition, consumers, and business users across a range of digital platform services markets, such as the social media, search, app, online retail and ad tech markets.

The Australian Treasury has released an exposure draft of legislation, which, if implemented, would require operators of electronic platforms to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) identification and payment information regarding the sellers that participate on their platforms (“Sellers”).

An initiative of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Privacy Awareness Week highlights the importance of protecting personal information and helps organisations navigate the privacy landscape. To mark the importance of this week, Baker McKenzie has partnered with Protiviti to launch a series of podcasts that explore how organisations are making compliance with privacy laws a priority, particularly in the key areas of how they approach data mapping, manage privacy risks and deal with data breaches.