The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today filed Federal Court proceedings against Australian Safeway Stores Pty Ltd, trading as Safeway, and George Weston Foods Limited, trading as Tip Top Bakeries, for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act, including price-fixing.
Proceedings against two senior managers of Safeway who are alleged to have been involved in the conduct are also the subject of the proceedings. The allegations concern the supply of bread by Tip Top Bakeries to retailers who discounted the price of the bread. The ACCC alleges that Safeway took action against Tip Top Bakeries and other bread manufacturers to induce them, or attempt to induce them, to take action to have the discounting cease.
It is alleged that Safeway refused to accept further supplies of bread from Tip Top Bakeries, and the other major bread manufacturers, who were supplying retailers who were discounting the price of bread. Safeway recommenced purchasing bread from the manufacturer concerned once the discounter had ceased discounting.
The allegations relate to bread sales by discounters in Ferntree Gully, Albury, Geelong and various Melbourne metropolitan areas during 1994 and 1995. Safeway and Tip Top are also alleged to have entered into a price-fixing arrangement regarding the price of bread to be sold at the Tip Top Bakeries store located in the Preston Market early in 1995.
The Commission acknowledges that George Weston Foods Limited has fully co-operated with it in its investigation and that the company is continuing to do so. The ACCC is seeking penalties and injunctions in relation to the alleged conduct.
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