Coles, ACCC court case to run 10 weeks
Coles is set to defend allegations it pressured 200 suppliers into joining a contractual program in order for the supermarket to stock their products, with a 10-week trial involving evidence from up to 40 witnesses.
In May, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched proceedings alleging Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct in relation to supplier contracts and rebates in return for supply chain improvements.
It is alleged if small suppliers declined to agree to pay the rebate, Coles personnel were instructed to escalate the matter to more senior staff, and to threaten commercial consequences if the supplier did not agree.
The consumer watchdog has claimed the supermarket’s Active Retail Collaboration program – developed in 2011 and expected to improve earnings by up to $16 million – contravened Australian Consumer Law. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…