Metcash Franklins decision 'disappointing'

25 August 2011

"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is disappointed by today's Federal Court decision on Metcash Trading Limited's proposed acquisition of the Franklins supermarket business," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said today.

The ACCC commenced proceedings seeking an injunction against Metcash and Franklins' parent company, Pick n Pay on 8 December 2010 on the basis that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in breach of section 50 of the (then) Trade Practices Act 1974.

Central to the ACCC's concerns is that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition through the removal of Metcash's closest and only genuine competitor for the wholesale supply of packaged groceries in NSW.

The ACCC has not yet had the opportunity to consider the reasons for judgment as they have only been made available to the legal representatives of the parties. It is expected that the reasons will be made public tomorrow afternoon, and the ACCC will then closely examine the judgment and consider its options.

"The role of the ACCC is to oppose mergers where we believe there will be a substantial lessening of competition in a market in Australia, and this will not change," Mr Sims said.

"The ACCC's role in this area is important to avoid inappropriate market concentration and to protect the long-term interests of consumers."

Release number: 
NR 151/11
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Mr Rod Sims - (02) 6243 1108