Bill to revoke Groceries Order comes into effect


Legislation to remove the Groceries Order and strengthen competition comes into effect today.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin initially proposed changes to the Competition Act last year after the Competition Authority, the National Consumer Agency and the National Competitiveness Council said it was damaging consumers by keeping prices artificially high.

The changes will strengthen anti-price fixing legislation to protect smaller operators from supermarket chains.

Independent retailers wanted the ban maintained because they claimed it protected them against supermarket chains, who would introduce dramatic cuts in prices and drive small operators out of business.

The Competition Authority will police the provisions. Where somebody breaks the law, injured parties can get court orders preventing them from continuing to ignore its provision and will be entitled to damages.