For Immediate Release
COSBOA Gives Thumbs up to ACCC’s Legal Action Against Coles
The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) congratulates the competition watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for its launch of legal proceedings against Coles for its alleged treatment of 200 suppliers.
The ACCC issued proceedings in the Federal Court based on allegations the retail giant engaged in unconscionable conduct under the Active Retail Collaboration program which Coles established in 2011. The ACCC will argue that the behaviour of Coles breached Australian Consumer Law.
“COSBOA congratulates the ACCC on having the strength to undertake this legal campaign. We acknowledge their decision to take this very important action especially against a company with significant resources.
“This action by the ACCC sends a strong message to the supermarket and retail sectors. It says that regardless of your size you will be held accountable for your actions and the effect this has on businesses everywhere,” said Mr Strong.
In a statement released today, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, “The conduct of Coles alleged by the ACCC in these proceedings was capable of causing significant detriment to small suppliers’ businesses. This could have resulted in these businesses becoming less able to plan and less able to innovate in the market, with resulting reduced economic efficiency and consumer detriment.” The statement further explained: “The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations, injunctions and costs. These proceedings arise from a broader investigation by the ACCC into allegations that supermarket suppliers were being treated inappropriately by the major supermarket chains. That broader investigation is continuing. The matter is listed for a directions hearing in Melbourne on 6 June 2014.”
Peter Strong is available for interview upon request.
For further information please contact:
Maria Ferreira or Jacqueline Howard
T: (02) 9212 7867
Notes to Editors:
1. The Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) was founded in 1979 and was incorporated in 1985.
2. COSBOA is Australia’s peak body exclusively representing the interests of small businesses.
3. For more information on COSBOA visit: http://www.cosboa.org.au
4. Interviews with Peter Strong, Executive Director, are available upon request.
6. COSBOA is a long-time advocate of small business on issues from taxation and workplace relations, through to competition law and retail tenancy.
7. The goals of COSBOA are to promote and support the development of small businesses in Australia and the council recognises that it is a national imperative for Australia that the needs of small business are on the national policy agenda.