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Urgent need for mandatory supermarket Code of Conduct

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 6 May 2014

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens spokesperson for Competition Policy, Small Business and Consumer Affairs responds to the ACCC pursuing claims that Coles has been illegally squeezing some of its suppliers to help keep its prices down while maintaining its profits.

Senator Whish-Wilson says “These claims reinforce the need for a mandatory Code of Conduct for supermarkets to prevent them riding roughshod over their suppliers.

“The ACCC have now said that a voluntary Code of Conduct would not have prevented Coles from strong-arming suppliers in this way.

“The Federal Government has a review of Competition Policy stacked with bug business representatives, just like the Commission of Audit was.

“By the time the Government acts on any recommendations from this review another few years of misuse of market power by the big supermarkets will go on.

“Why is the Government obfuscating in favour of big business whilst small business continues to get trodden on?

“The Greens are the only major party with a policy for a Mandatory Code of Conduct. The Government should stop kicking the can along the road with endless reviews and start acting on these abuses of market power,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

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