Description of Conduct
On 9 March 2022, Coles Group Limited lodged an application seeking revocation of authorisation AA1000546 and substitution with a new authorisation on substantially the same terms (re-authorisation). Coles seeks re-authorisation on behalf of itself, Woolworths Group Limited, ALDI Stores and Metcash Limited (the Participating Supermarkets) and any Other Approved Supermarkets who have obtained ACCC approval to engage in the Proposed Conduct.
Coles seeks re-authorisation for the Participating Supermarkets and Other Approved Supermarkets to continue to:
- propose, discuss, enter into or give effect to any contract, arrangement or understanding (including those involving manufacturers, suppliers, transport and logistic providers), for the purpose of ensuring the supply and equitable distribution of Retail Products to Australian consumers while responding to issues arising from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which occurs at, in preparation for, or arises out of an ‘Authorised Meeting’ or ‘Urgent Measures’ discussions, and
- continue to give effect to any contract, arrangement or understanding previously entered into in reliance on initial authorisation AA1000477 or existing authorisation AA1000546 (including any interim authorisation granted under these or the current application for re-authorisation).
Coles sought re-authorisation until 31 December 2023.
Coles’ previous authorisation AA1000546 was due to expire on 31 March 2022. Coles therefore also requested interim authorisation to allow the parties to continue to engage in the conduct covered by this existing authorisation while the ACCC considered the substantive application for re-authorisation AA1000606.
On 25 March 2022, the ACCC granted interim authorisation on substantially the same terms and subject to substantially the same conditions as existing authorisation AA1000546.
On 9 August 2022, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation until 31 March 2023. The ACCC proposed to grant authorisation on terms that include minimal changes from the Proposed Conduct as sought by Coles, and subject to the same 2 conditions as proposed by Coles, following the interim authorisation.
Due to an administrative oversight, an ACCC draft determination purported to be made on 29 July 2022 was not made. The ACCC re-made its draft determination on 9 August 2022 in identical terms to that published on 29 July 2022, apart from the change in date of the draft decision. The draft decision made on 9 August 2022 replaces the previous document published.
On 21 September 2022, the ACCC issued a final determination granting re-authorisation, subject to conditions, for the Proposed Conduct until 31 March 2023.
Copies of the application and the ACCC’s decisions are available via the links below.
- Woolworths Group Limited
- Coles Group Limited
- Metcash Limited
- Aldi Stores Supermarkets Pty Ltd (use for all; Aldi Foods Pty Ltd)
|Amended application and clarification of Proposed Conduct|
|ACCC to Interested Parties re Draft Determination|