ACCC Chairman Vows Action Against Unreasonable Supermarket Prices

Competition watchdog chairman Gina Cass-Gottlieb asserts that consumers are fed up with supermarkets’ unjustifiably high prices and profits. In response, she has vowed to take decisive action against any anticompetitive practices that contribute to the rising cost of living.

“Consumers are voicing their concerns loud and clear about the high prices and profits in supermarkets,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb emphasised before her address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. “Farmers, too, are expressing their frustration over not receiving a fair share of the profits from the supply chain.”

Acknowledging these concerns, Ms Cass-Gottlieb outlined the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) plan for the upcoming year. The ACCC intends to scrutinise supply chains for essential products, from farm to store shelf, in a formal inquiry into the $133 billion supermarket industry.

“This inquiry will shed light on the inner workings of the supply chain, providing much-needed transparency,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb explained. The ACCC will conduct a thorough analysis, comparing data across sectors with similar cost structures to identify any discrepancies.

The ACCC invites public submissions and aims to deliver an interim report to the government by the end of August. In addition to the broader inquiry, the ACCC is investigating supermarket practices related to discounting grocery items following complaints of misleading promotions.

“We’ve all fallen for those ‘special’ offers,” Ms. Cass-Gottlieb admitted, “but not everyone can take advantage of bulk discounts, particularly those facing financial hardship.”

Ms Cass-Gottlieb highlighted Woolworths’ offer of discounted Cobram Estate olive oil to its rewards program members, demonstrating how promotions might not always benefit all consumers equally. She pointed out that some supermarkets leverage customer data from loyalty programs to optimise promotions, promising to scrutinise these practices closely.

“Our investigation will delve into how supermarkets utilise data analytics and technology to gain a competitive edge,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb stated. She emphasised the importance of understanding how competition operates across different market segments.

“In areas with more small and independent supermarkets, we often see faster price competition,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb noted. “This tells us something about the dynamics of competition in other regions.”

In conclusion, Ms Cass-Gottlieb underscored the ACCC’s commitment to ensuring fair competition and protecting consumers from unjust pricing practices in the supermarket sector.

For the latest retailer news and information, check out the IndiHub website or to speak to us about how we can help your business contact us.

Scroll to Top