31 August 2022

ACCC looks at Woolworths' proposed takeover in Queanbeyan

| Ian Bushnell
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IGA Karabar

The SUPA IGA Karabar supermarket. Woolworths wants to make it a Metro store. Photo: Australia247.

A proposed takeover of a small Karabar supermarket has attracted scrutiny from the competition watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants to hear from consumers and businesses in the Queanbeyan area about Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of the SUPA IGA Karabar supermarket.

Woolworths intends to operate a Woolworths Metro supermarket on the site and has opened public consultation on the proposed acquisition.

It is the second time Woolworths has tried to acquire the supermarket, now 840 sqm in size.

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In 2008, when it was a bigger 1250 sqm supermarket and trading under the Supabarn banner, the Australian Consumer and Competition knocked back the deal, finding that it would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition in the local retail supermarket market and prevent competition between the Woolworths supermarket at Jerrabomberra and the Karabar operation.

But Queanbeyan and its surrounds have grown considerably since 2008, including in the Googong township.

The ACCC said it was seeking views from interested parties about the distance consumers in the area would typically travel to visit supermarkets and bottle shops, the likely impact of the proposed acquisition on pricing or promotions between local stores, and the impact on local suppliers or retail wholesalers.

It wants to know which businesses are considered close competitors to the Karabar Supa IGA and what factors influence how far a customer will travel.

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The ACCC also wants to know how much Karabar Supa IGA and its competitors respond to each other’s pricing and advertising.

“Information from local consumers and businesses is one of the ACCC’s most valuable tools in assessing mergers,” the ACCC said.

“Your experience of supermarkets in the region will help the ACCC understand the impact of the proposed acquisition, including how you or your business may be affected.”

Submissions will close on 7 September 2022. To make a submission visit the ACCC website.

The ACCC’s final decision is due on 10 November.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.

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