The Federal Court will be handing down its decision in the Metcash case today.

The Federal Court will determine whether Metcash's proposed merger with Franklins is anticompetitive.

The ACCC objected to the proposed merger claiming that it was likely to lessen competition by removing Metcash's only genuine competitor in the 'relevant market', which the ACCC claimed to be the wholesale supply of packaged groceries to independent retailers in NSW.

Metcash claimed that the ACCC was defining the market too narrowly and that market should include businesses such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi and that when they were included, the 'relevant market' was wider and the merger with Franklins was not likely to lessen competition in that market.

The decision is a significant one in competition law and should shed new light on the law relating to competition effects of mergers, particularly in the grocery sector. Numerous large businesses are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this decision as it will impact on their future strategies