Franchise update: major amendments to franchising code foreshadowed
The Australian government has released an exposure draft of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes-Franchising) Regulations 2014, which seeks to make major amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct (‘Code’) and the relevant provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft bill and regulations by 30 April 2014, with the changes expected to take effect from 1 January 2015. The highlights of the amended regulations include:
Increased penalties and enforcement: a drastic enhancement of the enforcement tools available to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the active enforcement body of the CCA, to deal with serious breaches of the Code. The ACCC will now have power to seek civil pecuniary penalties of up to AUD51,000 (£28,000) from the court and issue infringement notices of up to AUD8,500 for a body corporate, without having to seek a court order…
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