Weekly Digest – 10 April 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Startling images reveal the truth about who owns most major brands found in the big two supermarkets

A compelling illustration by a graphic design enthusiast has revealed the sheer concentration of ownership of popular brands found in Australian supermarkets. Strolling through the aisles of a Woolworths or Coles, shoppers might take in the hundreds of individual products on offer and assume there’s a healthy level of competition at play. But analysis of exactly who owns the food for sale shows several major corporations dominate, each owning the vast majority of brands in key categories.

The superannuation rules setting up a ‘major generational clash’

Preventing Millennials and Gen Zs from using superannuation to buy a home while self-managed super funds are allowed to invest in residential property sets Australia up for a “major generational clash” over housing.

Australian small businesses trail rest of APAC

A recent survey from CPA Australia placed Australian small businesses last or near last on nearly all vital indicators. Inadequate use of technology and a lack of young entrepreneurs continue to undermine Australia’s small business market, said CPA Australia.

Google and AAP launch new fact-checking partnership to tackle ‘misinformation’

Global tech giant Google and the Australian Associated Press (AAP) have launched a partnership to expand fact checks for “mis and disinformation” in Australia and New Zealand.

Delivering data on business events

Business events, such as conferences, expos, and trade fairs, play an important role in Australia, with new data showing it contributed $20.9 billion to Australia’s economy in 2023. This included spending of $10.4 billion on food, drink, and accommodation, $4.4 billion on domestic airfares, and $1.1 billion on tours and entertainment. An interactive, publicly accessible dashboard, created by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), provides official statistics on business events and related travel expenditure.

Australia’s fossil fuel giants set to take multibillion-dollar hit

Australia’s gas and coal exporters are headed for a multibillion-dollar revenue collapse over the next five years as new forecasts by the federal government suggest fossil fuel prices will keep tumbling from the unprecedented highs reached after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Insolvency Tsunami’ of small businesses could be coming as ATO aggressively chases debt

Australian small businesses are becoming insolvent at a rate faster than what was seen during the global financial crisis, as the Australian Tax Office (ATO) aggressively pursues billions of dollars of debt. Calls to the Small Business Helpline surged 82 percent compared with last year, as the ATO takes an aggressive approach to debt collection.

Initial access brokers are the latest cybercriminals targeting Australians. Here’s how they work

In some ways, the newest cybercriminals attacking Australia are a lot like real estate agents. It’s all about location, location, location. Marketing is key, of course, and so is plenty of stock. Known as initial access brokers, this emerging class of hackers use their specialist skills to break into businesses and then sell usernames and passwords — the keys, so to speak — to ransomware gangs on the dark web.

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