Co-Operative Supermarkets Australia Limited

Summary

Co-Operative Supermarkets Australia Limited (CSA) is an incorporated co-operative whose members operate independent supermarket and convenience stores. CSA and its members sought authorisation to collectively bargain with suppliers of goods and services to the Australian grocery industry.

Specifically, CSA and its members sought authorisation to:

  • Collectively bargain with suppliers of all kinds in the Australian grocery industry supply chain in the relation to the supply of goods or services that are either consumed by CSA members or offered for sale through the members business. This includes the sharing of information by CSA members about price and conditions of supply offered to or existing with CSA members by suppliers.
  • Impose and enforce an ‘active member test’, requiring members to actively trade in the goods and services offered through CSA’s system during each rolling two-month period.

(the Conduct).

On 19 December 2019, the ACCC granted interim authorisation to enable CSA and its members to share information and negotiate with suppliers, but not to enter into any contracts or impose an ‘active member test’.

On 13 March 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to authorise the Proposed Conduct for five years. The ACCC also revoked the 19 December interim authorisation and granted an expanded interim authorisation that would allow CSA and its members to share information, negotiate with suppliers and enter into contracts with suppliers of goods and services to the Australian grocery industry, conditional upon the final authorisation being granted.

On 7 April 2020 the ACCC issued a determination conditionally authorising the Conduct until 29 April 2025.

The condition imposed by the ACCC prohibits any requirements being imposed on members of the collective bargaining scheme that would require them to purchase a minimum quantity of goods or goods to a minimum value through the scheme over any period unless:

  • CSA first notifies the ACCC in writing of its intention to impose any such requirements and the reasons it considers such requirements to be necessary by emailing adjuication@accc.gov.au; and
  • the ACCC approves in writing the imposition of a minimum volume and/or value requirement.

The ACCC’s interim authorisation decisions and final determination are available under the Decisions heading below.

Applicant(s)

  • Co-Operative Supermarkets Australia Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000457-1