Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has instructed Coles to refund more than $12 million to its suppliers, as part of his role as “independent arbiter” overseeing the compensation process flowing from the competition watchdog’s action against the supermarket giant.
Kennett was tasked with overseeing the compensation process after Coles settled two separate claims of unconscionable conduct in December 2014. At the time Coles admitted it had “crossed the line” and offered to compensate affected suppliers, and paid a fine of $10 million in the Federal Court.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement today Kennett has also instructed Coles to allow suppliers to exit the retailers’ Active Retail Collaboration (ARC) program without penalty or have their ARC contribution rebates reviewed.
“The arbitration process conducted by Mr Kennett has proven both extremely timely and effective with significant benefits to supplies,” ACCC chairman Rob Sims said in the statement.
“The process will also deliver flow on effects for suppliers more broadly as a result of changes Mr Kennett says Coles has begun to implement that affect the way it deals with its suppliers.”
Greek banks remain closed
Banks remain closed in Greece as French, German and Italian governments all warn that Greece is voting on their Eurozone membership on Sunday.
As protests continue, Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has put forward a ‘no’ to staying in the euro, pushing a referendum on the debt deal.
In addition to rejecting a last-minute request for a one-month extension of Greece’s bailout, if Christina Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, officially declares Greece in default it will join Zimbabwe, Cuba and Somalia as a delinquent state.
Shares down on open
Australian shares are down this morning following a negative lead from Wall Street last night, with markets continuing to react to the situation unfolding in Greece.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.1%, falling 4.7 points to 5417.8 at 12:39pm AEST.
On Monday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.95%, falling 350.33 points to 17596.4 points.