By Andrew Starke

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim authorisation to allow Liquor Stax Australia to collectively bargain with a range of suppliers.

The ACCC said interim authorisation would allow the group to avoid unnecessary disruption while the regulator undertakes its public assessment of the application.

Liquor Stax is seeking authorisation on behalf of a group of around 200 small businesses comprising liquor merchants and hotels, to collectively bargain with around 60 suppliers of inputs such as alcohol, cigarettes, poker machines and confectionery as well as services such as advertising, insurance and communications.

Member participation in any given transaction is voluntary and imposes no restrictions on a member’s choice of suppliers.

The ACCC has sought submissions on the application from interested parties.

While general manager of Liquor Stax Australia, Guy Bohan, did not want to comment on the ruling immediately, he told TheShout that it was now likely that the group would be granted final approval in about three weeks.

The group sent in its initial application for authorisation on January 27, 2010.

Liquor Stax services nearly 200 independent banner groups throughout New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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