ACCC puts energy suppliers on watch; Melbourne-based software company Aconex prepares to float: Midday Roundup

ACCC puts energy suppliers on watch; Melbourne-based software company Aconex prepares to float: Midday Roundup

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will have new powers to take action against energy suppliers that fail to pass on savings from the carbon tax repeal.

The ACCC has put businesses that supply regulated goods – electricity, natural gas, synthetic greenhouse gases (typically refrigerant gases) or synthetic greenhouse gas equipment (such as refrigerators and air-conditioners) all on watch.

“When the new law takes effect and the carbon tax is repealed, these businesses must pass through all cost savings from the carbon tax repeal,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

“If they fail to do so, the ACCC will take enforcement action against them and seek serious penalties from the courts.”

A business found to have not passed on tax savings may face court imposed penalties of up to $1.1 million per contravention for corporations, or $220,000 per contravention for an individual.

Suppliers of electricity and natural gas, or bulk importers of synthetic greenhouse gas, will also be subject to a penalty equal to 250% of the cost savings that were not passed through if found to be in breach of the carbon tax price reduction obligation.

Melbourne-based software company Aconex prepares to float

Melbourne-based software provider Aconex is preparing to join its contemporaries Atlassian and Xero on the Australian Stock Exchange, reports Fairfax.

The company is currently owned by founders and BRW Rich Listers Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, with Silicon Valley venture capital outfit Francisco Partners also holding a minority stake.

According to Fairfax, Aconex is planning to meet with fund managers next week in the first step of its initial public offering preparations.

Aconex is the largest provider of construction and project management software globally, and is currently used by more than 160,000 engineers and construction professionals worldwide.

Aussie shares open down as MH17 affects international markets

Australian shares have opened flat this morning, after the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 raised concerns over unrest in Ukraine and spooked international markets.

“The situation in Ukraine will dominate trader thinking this morning,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

“Substantial rallies in US Bonds, the Japanese Yen and gold are all pointers to the potential for this to be a significant ‘risk off’ event for markets,” he said.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 8 points to 5514.4 points at 11.52am AEDT. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed 161.39 points down, falling 0.94% to 16,976.8 points.

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