ACCC queries ACT supermarket policy

Posted by James Ferre on 2nd November 2009

New legislation likely to be introduced in the ACT, that will render Coles, Woolworths and IGA ineligible to apply for certain sites, has been questioned by the competition watchdog.

The changes to planning laws are designed to improve competition but Graeme Samuel, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, believes they are incongruous with the principles of open markets.

“They are recommendations that would not appear to be consistent with the findings of the ACCC in its grocery inquiry report of 2008,” Mr Samuel added at a Senate Estimates hearing.

However, he noted that the ACT Government were entitled to make the changes if they so desired.

Ironically, former ACCC Commissioner John Martin was behind the review which prompted the policy move by the territory government.