ACCC Investigates Allegations Against Coles and Woolworths

January 16, 2015
By Alana House

Coles has paid out a $10 million fine to settle a case with the competition watchdog, ACCC, after allegations were made against Coles, accusing the chain of “engaging in unconscionable conduct against its suppliers”, and forcing suppliers into “profit gap” and “waste” payments.

Since then, new and similar allegations against Woolworths have surfaced, accusing the retailer of having demanded millions of dollars from suppliers to “fund a discount war”, Master Grocers Australia/Liquor Retailers Australia (MGA/LRA) reports. As a result, ACCC has launched an investigation.

“Coles has forked out millions of dollars – which is pocket money to them anyway – to settle a case with the ACCC, rather than risk the public exposure of their tactics in open court”, MGA/LRA CEO, Jos de Bruin said.

“Coles and Woolworths have gained a fortune in profits by acting unethically or illegally against small suppliers.

“We are pleased that the ACCC is investigating Woolworths over allegations [and] look forward to the ACCC investigation arriving at the truth of how Woolworths does business”, Mr. Bruin added.

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