On 25 February 2014, the ACCC commenced proceedings against Coles and Woolworths in relation to alleged breaches of the undertakings under s87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Act) (s87B Undertaking) given by them to the ACCC to address the ACCC’s concerns regarding fuel shopper dockets. 

The undertakings were given on 6 December 2013 and, in summary, provide that from 1 January 2014, Coles and Woolworths will not offer fuel discounts that are:

  • funded in whole or part by any other division, other than their petrol division; or
  • greater than 4cpl and contingent on purchasing other goods or services, except goods or services acquired from a petrol station convenience store operated by their petrol division, or a fast food outlet or car wash that is physically located and operated in conjunction with the petrol station.

Following the undertakings being given, Woolworths and Coles formulated new fuel discount offers.

The offers consist of up to an 8cpl discount in the case of Woolworths, and up to a 14cpl discount in the case of Coles.  The ACCC alleges these new offers breach the undertakings given by Coles and Woolworths.

In separate proceedings, Woolworths has sought a declaration that a proposed future fuel discount offer would not breach its undertaking.

The matter is before the Court for a directions hearing on 3 April 2014.