Finance Finance News Woolies fuel discounts broke rules
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Woolies fuel discounts broke rules

The Federal Court has found fuel discounts by Woolworths earlier this year breached an agreement with the ACCC.
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The Federal Court has found supermarket giant Woolworths has breached an undertaking on fuel shopper dockets, but that Coles did not break the agreement.

Both supermarkets reached an enforceable deal with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year to limit petrol discounts to 4 cents per litre, amid concerns supermarket-subsidised heavy fuel discounting was hurting independent service stations.

In February, the ACCC took court action, alleging the supermarkets had breached the agreement by offering bundled discounts.

The Federal Court today found that Coles did not breach the agreement, because it funded its discounts of up 14 cents a litre primarily through its Coles Express stores.

However, the court said Woolworths breached the agreement for the first three months of this year when it offered discounts of up to eight cents a litre.

The ACCC has been investigating discount fuel shopper dockets since 2012.

Mr Sims voiced his concerns about fuel discounts in July last year, saying he believed they could lead to higher fuel prices in the longer term.

“If these shopper dockets continue at these levels, it’s going to be very hard for other players to compete and we may end up with just two companies in the country selling petrol,” he said at the time.