By Andrew Starke

New chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Rod Sims, has told the major supermarket chains they are ‘on notice’ and face close scrutiny to ensure they don’t misuse their market power.

In March this year both Woolworths and Coles denied media reports they were involved in a ‘beer war’ with the Foster’s Group after the beer supplier refused to deliver stock to several retailers.

Both played down speculation that beer would remain a touchstone in supplier discontent with supermarket chain discounting but this issue, amongst others, has clearly resonated with Sims.

“The two major supermarkets have significant market power, with many smaller suppliers feeling they lack a real ability to negotiate supply arrangements,” he told the Melbourne Press Club.

“The ACCC can and will watch closely to ensure any such dealings do not involve unconscionable conduct by the supermarkets.

“To give another example, supermarkets sell both branded and their own private label products.

“This vertical integration in the supply chain needs close scrutiny to ensure the supermarkets do not misuse their market power under Sector 46.”

Sims added that the ACCC would embrace the challenge to “keep the competition torch burning to see competition introduced into new areas”.

“Sound competition policy – when it is carefully thought out – provides benefits for consumers and for society overall,” he said.

“Under my chairmanship I intend that the ACCC will be a sometimes noisy proponent of this view.

“We are the major Federal Government agency with the word ‘Competition’ in our title. So I believe it is part of our job.”

The Shout Team

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

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  1. When do we start laughing !!!!!
    The ACCC doing something to stop Woolworths & Coles.
    I think I would have a better chance of flying to the moon.

  2. the toothless tiger talks and we are meant to listen and believe??,yeah right ,how dumb and blind do they think we are ??.the better option for A.C.C.C. and the O.L.G.R. to stop this duopoly from flexing their considerable muscle and political influence would be to call for a stop to all new licenses as there are already enough licenses in this country ,the only time a new license can be created is if a whole new town/suburb is created, also stopping the transfer of licenses from the country to the suburbs to create “big box” stores(we have enough licenses in these suburbs to cater for the community) .another option would be to call for and end to the “2 for” deals as they are a form of irresponsible service of alcohol as are the promotions that encourage you to spend “X” amount of dollars in their liquor stores to receive “X”cents a litre off fuel ,number 1: they are forcing you through pricing to purchase two when you only ever wanted one but the price of one is almost the price of two and number 2 : the correlation between cheap grog and cheap fuel is affront to our liquor laws and drink driving… these are just my thoughts but im fairly sure alot feel the same.

  3. Dear Mr Sims
    Please dedicate your time to traction,very few beleive the nonsence the ACCC generate in relation to Petrol and the Liquor/Grocery industries.Your predesessor takes 12 months to initiate a strategy with taxis,you corporates are all the same,however please dont expect that you fool everyone,there still remains a few individuals around with old fashion common sense.

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