Wrestling with Giants - A Critical Account of Supermarket Power and Competition Law in Australia and the United Kingdom

Australian Business Law Review, Vol. 41 No. 5, 270-291, 2013

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/28

23 Pages Posted: 18 May 2018

See all articles by Madeline Taylor

Madeline Taylor

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: May 17, 2018

Abstract

On 13 February 2013 at the Senate Additional Budget Estimates, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims, announced the ACCC will investigate the grocery supply chain and anti-competitive behaviour of Woolworths and Coles accused of “bullying” producers. The sentiment underlining the ACCC announcement is the expectation that this behaviour is unwarranted, anti-competitive and must be adequately regulated. This article will establish that the Australian and United Kingdom national governments must ultimately enact new mandatory competition legislation governing the entire grocery supply chain to regulate the anti-competitive practices of supermarkets. The United Kingdom regulatory Ombudsman model is likely to be replicated in Australia and is an initial step in the right direction during the interim to monitor supermarket practices. However, there is compelling evidence to suggest the current environment of self-regulation requires a major review and restructure of current supermarket codes, encompassing the reform of competition legislation to develop a sustainable food supply chain.

Keywords: competition law, comparative law, consumer law market regulation, food law and policy, supermarket regulation

JEL Classification: K2, K22, K23, L41, L43, L22

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Madeline, Wrestling with Giants - A Critical Account of Supermarket Power and Competition Law in Australia and the United Kingdom (May 17, 2018). Australian Business Law Review, Vol. 41 No. 5, 270-291, 2013 , Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3180423

Madeline Taylor (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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