Alleged Anti-Competitive Conduct probe closed

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission has closed investigations into the alleged anti-competitive conduct by some suppliers and wholesalers in Alotau, Milne Bay Province.

A complaint was received on the 11th of November, 2019 alleging that there was an anti-competitive agreement between major businesses and their suppliers, to restrict the supply of common grocery goods to potential small distributors in the province.

ICCC Commissioner Paulus Ain said they proceeded with a nationwide market enquiry and that the investigation was focused on possible breaches of the relevant provisions of the ICCC Act 2002.

“During our investigation the ICCC did not find evidence of any formal or written exclusive agreement with the intention to monopolize markets in Alotau or to restrict supply to potential smaller distributors in Alotau,” Ain said.

Mr Ain added that exclusive distributorship agreements are not always anti-competitive and that such arrangements allow distributors to supply large scale quantities to wholesalers, which can create economies of scale, increase efficiency which in turn reduce costs and shelf prices.

The ICCC will continue to monitor the market conditions in Alotau.

Press Release