On 22 January 2008 the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs requested the ACCC to hold a public inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries pursuant to Part VIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Matters taken into consideration by the inquiry included, but were not restricted to:
- the current structure of the grocery industry at the supply, wholesale and retail levels including mergers and acquisitions by the national retailers
- the nature of competition at the supply, wholesale, and retail levels of the grocery industry
- the competitive position of small and independent retailers
- the pricing practices of the national grocery retailers and the representation of grocery prices to consumers
- factors influencing the pricing of inputs along the supply chain for standard grocery items
- any impediments to efficient pricing of inputs along the supply chain
- the effectiveness of the Horticulture Code of Conduct, and whether the inclusion of other major buyers such as retailers would improve the effectiveness of the code.
The ACCC provided its report to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs on 31 July 2008.