Government to launch ACCC inquiry into supermarket prices

The Albanese Government will direct the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate pricing and competition in the supermarket sector to ensure Australians are paying a fair price for their groceries.

We understand that Australians are under the pump and the cost of groceries is among the biggest concern for many.

This 12-month ACCC inquiry – the first of its kind since 2008 – will investigate the competitiveness of retail prices and allegations of price gouging in the supermarket sector.

The monitoring announced today is an important part of the Government’s broader efforts to boost competition and put downward pressure on the price of essentials for Australians, including a review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct and the Competition Review’s focus on cost-of-living initiatives.

Matters to be considered by the ACCC will include, but will not be limited to:

  • The current structure of the supermarket industry at the supply, wholesale and retail levels;
  • Competition in the industry and how it has changed since 2008, including the growth of online shopping;
  • The competitiveness of small and independent retailers, including regional and remote areas;
  • The pricing practices of supermarkets;
  • Factors influencing prices along the supply chain, including the difference between farmgate and supermarket prices;
  • Any impediments to competitive pricing along the supply chain; and
  • Other factors impacting competition, including loyalty programs and third-party discounts.

The ACCC will produce an interim report in 2024 and final report in early 2025 which will provide the Government with findings and recommendations. The Government is working with the ACCC to finalise the direction, which will be issued in coming days.

In addition, the Government will deliver $1.1 million to respected consumer group CHOICE to provide price transparency and comparison reports on a quarterly basis for three years.

Starting from the second quarter of 2024, CHOICE will provide shoppers with better information on the comparative costs of grocery goods at different retailers, highlighting those charging the most and the least.

The provision of this information will empower Australian consumers to make informed choices about food and grocery purchases. 

Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.