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ACCC win good result for small business.

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Media Release The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

1 July 2003 03/122


In a win for small businesses the Full Court of the Federal Court held that Safeway had engaged in price-fixing in relation to the price of bread to be sold at Tip Top Bakeries store located in Preston markets.

The message from this result is that the interests of small business are being vigorously protected and that the ACCC will investigate alleged misuses of market of power.

According to the editorial in today’s Australian Financial Review;

“But the rare win in the full Federal Court should help restore some balance to the debate over section 46 of the Trade Practices Act, which outlaws abuse of market power.”

“The Safeway decision is a timely reminder to them and others that the Trade Practices Act is a complex statute and the outcome of individual cases is hard to predict.”

In further good news for Australia’s 1.1 million small businesses, the ACCC has authorised collective negotiating arrangements proposed by the Australian Hotels Association (NSW), stating that;

“the ACCC sees a benefit in allowing hotels in New South Wales, many of which are small businesses, to collectively bargain with Tab and Sky Channel.”

The Federal Government believes that more small businesses should be able to negotiate collectively and will introduce legislation to streamline the approval of applications so that there are more outcomes such as the AHA’s in a quicker and more convenient manner.

New collective negotiating procedures contained in the Government’s response to the Dawson Inquiry represent a significant re-balancing of the relationship between small business and big business because for the first time, local corner stores will be able to compete with large suppliers on price.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, 02 9929 9822

CMR 03-149