Woolworths' intention to offer discount petrol to customers buying at least $30 of groceries at selected Woolworths' and Safeway supermarkets will not be opposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"As Woolworths is creating a special division for its petrol sales, and technically 'third-line forcing' customers who wish to buy the cheaper petrol, the company notified the ACCC of the potentially anti-competitive behaviour," Acting Chairman, Mr Allan Asher, said today.
"The ACCC has reviewed Woolworths' proposal and is satisfied that the public benefits (including lower petrol prices) outweigh any public detriment.
"The ACCC has welcomed Woolworths entry into petrol retailing as it consistent with the ACCC's recent petroleum report which called for increased competition and new entry.
"The ACCC has told Woolworths that it must ensure that any conditions, such as the $30 minimum purchase, relating to the cheaper petrol offer are clearly and openly displayed on the offer dockets and signs within Woolworths and Safeway stores and also where the fuel is purchased.
"The ACCC sees the move as a proactive force in the restructuring of the petrol industry.
"It is a practical means of increasing competition, particularly in country areas, especially those with historically high prices.
"The ACCC re-iterates that it is crucial that local councils do not hinder such important developments by refusing planning approvals.
"In the United Kingdom supermarkets have led petrol prices down by significant amounts and major oil companies have been forced to respond to the benefit of consumers."