ACCC permits Woolworths’ acquisition of an independent supermarket

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today announced that it would not oppose Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of the independent Supa IGA supermarket in the Canberra suburb of Hawker. This follows the release of a Statement of Issues in December 2012 in which the ACCC indicated that it had some concerns in relation to the proposed acquisition.

The ACCC found that the local market within which Supa IGA operates contains a number of alternative supermarket offerings and that existing Woolworths supermarkets were not Supa IGA’s closest competitors. The ACCC also conducted a consumer survey that showed most customers used the independent supermarket for only a limited part of their overall grocery shopping, and that Supa IGA provided a different product offering to the other supermarkets in the area. On the basis of this and other findings, the ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market and therefore that the purchase would not be opposed.

Frontier (Australia) advised lawyers for Woolworths in their submissions to the ACCC on this matter, including providing analysis of the results of the ACCC’s consumer survey.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at m.okeeffe@frontier-economics.com or Richard York at richard.york@frontier-economics.com.au; or call on +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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