Tuesday, 2 September 2008

MP backs laws to curb grocery monopoly

Outspoken federal MP Bob Katter has welcomed plans to introduce laws aimed at preventing major grocery retailers from swallowing up independent operators.

The federal government is considering introducing creeping acquisitions law following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry into grocery prices.

The commission has said individual acquisitions that did not raise competition concerns at the time "may have a significant competitive impact" when taken together.

The government has released a discussion paper that includes the option of adding a new prohibition under the Trade Practices Act to stymie any single purchase by a company "that already has a substantial degree of market power".

Mr Katter, who has been campaigning against the power of supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, on Tuesday described the government move as a breakthrough.

"On a scale of one to 10, this comes in a two but let's thank the good Lord for two," the independent federal member for Kennedy told reporters.

"Any restraint of Woolworths and Coles has to be for the benefit of both the supply chain, the farmers, and the consumers."


End of local food industry: Clairs
The former chief executive of Woolworths says he has concerned about the survival of Australia's food manufacturing industry.

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