In this issue:

As Mark Katz, the Guest Editor for this issue, states: “Perhaps more than ever, tensions between suppliers and retailers have become the defining feature of the grocery industry worldwide. These tensions have also frequently formed the basis for interventions by competition enforcement authorities in this sector.” We’re looking at some of those interventions, including merger analysis and cartel enforcement in various territories as well as such specific issues as Canadian concern about “country pricing,” the U.K.’s sector-specific Code of Practice, concentration issues in New Zealand and Australia, and Israel’s attempt to lower food prices through competition law. Ample food for thought.




Competition and the Grocery Sector

Erika Douglas, Mark Katz, Jun 30, 2014

Face-off in the Grocery Aisle: Retailers and Suppliers Go Head-to-Head in Canada

If the “country pricing” proposal is adopted, one by-product may be to affect the relative flexibility now afforded suppliers under Canada’s price maintenance provision. Mark Katz & Erika Douglas (Davies Ward)

Logan Breed, Wesley Carson, Jun 30, 2014

Merger Enforcement in U.S. Food Industry Markets

U.S. antitrust focus is particularly stringent when mergers enhance the pricing power of large companies in situations where that power balance is already disparate. Logan Breed & Wesley Carson (Hogan Lovells)

Mark Jones, Jun 30, 2014

Competition Law Enforcement in the U.K. Grocery and Food Sectors and at the EU Level

A number of the issues addressed in the United Kingdom, including the effects of perceived buyer power on the part of the larger supermarket chains and the indirect exchange of competitively sensitive information between retailers via their suppliers, have subsequently been picked up by agencies in other jurisdictions. Mark Jones (Hogan Lovells)

Sarah Moritz, Paul Schoff, Eric White, Jun 30, 2014

Competition in the Australian Grocery Industry

Two concerns that have lingered following the Grocery Inquiry and the Metcash debacle are concerns that the major supermarkets squeeze suppliers and that they eliminate smaller rivals. Paul Schoff, Sarah Moritz, & Eric White (Minter Ellison)

Andrew Matthews, Gus Stewart, Jun 30, 2014

Antitrust and the Grocery/Food Sector in New Zealand

Clearly against that backdrop further acquisitions will likely be problematic and market power issues could be a concern. Andrew Matthews & Gus Stewart (Matthews Law)

Keren Cohen, Tal Eyal-Boger, Amit Zac, Jun 30, 2014

The Promotion of Competition in the Food Sector in Israel

The surgical hand needed in such industry-specific regulatory interventions was replaced by a bulldozer trying to level the field. Tal Eyal-Boger, Keren Cohen, & Amit Zac (Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co.)