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GRC Professional : GRC Winter 2012
Competition laws Gallacher says retailers can easily and unintentionally fall foul of competition law. Regulations exist that prohibit so-called restrictive trade practices, which include contracts, ar rangements or under standings between competitors (cartel behaviour, such as price-fixing or market sharing arrangements, a nd collusive ar r ange ment s w ith competitor s or suppliers). “Confusion can arise because while price fixing is explicitly forbidden, other types of market m an ipulation such as exclusion or sole supplie r agreements can be less clear.” Where there is confusion, the case will require a so-called ‘Substantial Lessening of Competition Test’ (SLC), which e st ablishe s whethe r the beh aviour is having a material effect on competition. one example in 2003 involved Woolwor ths (trading as Safeway) and baker George Weston (trading as Tip Top Baker ies). Safeway refused to accept any more product s f rom We ston to discou ra ge the compa ny from allowing other, smaller retailers to discount the price of its products. The ACCC also alleged that the supplier had stopped supplies to the discounter s, but it was not clear that a material lessening of competition had occur red. However, in 2003, the Full Cour t of the Federal Court of Australia found in favour of the ACCC in the case Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Australian Safeway Stores Pty Ltd. “A nti-com petitive beh aviour can be quite subjective and often ends in legal action in order to for m a decision,” says Gallacher. Ultimately, the current retail climate offers opportunity as well as challenge. operators who are diligent about compliance while refining their competitive strategy are positioned to reap the benefits. Ensu re your competitive practices are in line with current regulation, keep up to speed on r ights and responsibilities under the new carbon tax, understand the rules on guarantees and apply your policy accordingly, and as always, prior itise staff training. Ultimately, the current retail climate offers opportunity as well as challenge. 27 Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Do you have adequate procedures in place? Starting with an evaluation of your current programme, we can guide you through the process, enabling you to implement and evidence an anti-bribery programme that helps ensure compliance worldwide - by employees as well as associated third parties, agents and intermediaries. Contact us to discover how we can help you specifically prepare for the UK Bribery Act and protect your organisation’s reputation and bottom line. T: 1300 513 107 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org X
GRC Autumn 2012
GRC Spring 2012