201312.06

Government welcomes ACCC fuel shopper docket announcement

The Federal Government has welcomed the announcement from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it has concluded its investigation into whether large fuel saving offers (“shopper dockets”) issued by Coles and Woolworths were reducing competition in retail fuel markets.

We know shopper docket fuel discounts are very popular with consumers, especially around this time of year. This undertaking will enable discount offers to continue while at the same time ensuring that efficient small businesses operating in these markets can maintain competitive pressures on major players.

For those motorists that tend not to use shopper dockets, they can be reassured that large fuel saving offers are not acting as a cover for fuel prices that are higher than should otherwise be the case.

Both consumers and businesses expressed concern about the larger shopper docket offerings and their impact on the competitive environment will welcome the ACCC’s announcement as further evidence of support for fairer competition in the retail fuel and grocery markets and the opportunity for efficient businesses, big and small, to offer ongoing value and choice to consumers.

Coles and Woolworths have undertaken to limit the value of shopper docket discounts to 4 cents per litre and fund them through their fuel businesses only. This means that consumers can be more confident that their grocery prices are not cross subsidising larger shopper docket offers.