Netflix to launch in Australia on March 24; Metcash and Aldi sign grocery code, Woolies and Coles think it over: Midday Roundup

Netflix to launch in Australia on March 24; Metcash and Aldi sign grocery code, Woolies and Coles think it over: Midday Roundup

The much-anticipated launch of video-streaming service Netflix has been announced for March 24.

The service will offer a range of movies and television shows, including all three seasons of political drama House of Cards, the release of which recently led to a spike in pirated downloads in Australia, according to Fairfax.

“Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we’re excited they’ll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer.

While the announcement contained no pricing information, Netflix said all major broadband operators will offer the service as well as most smart televisions including those by Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic. Gaming consoles, including Sony’s PlayStation Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One, will also be compatible.


Metcash and Aldi sign grocery code, while Woolies and Coles think it over


Metcash-IGA and Aldi have committed to the new voluntary Grocery Code of Conduct, which takes effect from today, but supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are yet to commit to the code.

The new measures include an obligation to enter into grocery supply agreements in writing, minimum standards of behaviour in dealings with suppliers and dispute resolution mechanisms to assist suppliers in resolving disputes.

While Metcash did not formally sign up to the code, it announced it will adopt all elements of the code that apply to the company for a 12-month period, after which it “hopes to be in a position to formally sign up to the Code”.

Aldi has signed up “unequivocally”, releasing a statement saying the provisions in the code reflects its current practice with suppliers.

Coles issued a statement saying it would “assess the final form of the code once it has been ratified by the parliament”, while Woolworths said the company “has been a strong supporter of a voluntary industry code of conduct and we look forward to seeing the government’s proposal after it has been considered by the Senate”, according to the ABC.


Shares on seven-year high ahead of RBA interest rate decision


The Australian sharemarket opened this morning on a seven-year high. At 12.00 AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.5 points, or 0.19% at 5,9740 points.   

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says global markets added to the momentum with new all-time highs for the German DAX and US S&P 500, and a 15-year high for the tech heavy Nasdaq.

“Overnight data was positive in Europe and mixed in the US, and industrial commodities are back to where they sat yesterday,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“All this points to a positive start for Australian shares, although trading may be cautious ahead of some key market events today.”

The key market event is clearly the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision.

“If the RBA does move today, or shift from a neutral stance to easing, the Australia 200 index may broach the 6,000 level for the first time since early 2008,” McCarthy said.


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