ACCC alleges competitors frozen out of ice-cream market

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Australasian Food Group Pty Ltd, trading as Peters Ice Cream.

The ACCC alleges that it engaged in conduct which hindered or prevented competition for the supply of single-wrapped ice creams to petrol and convenience retailers.

The ACCC claims that, between about November 2014 and December 2019, Peters engaged in exclusive dealing by entering into and giving effect to an agreement with PFD Food Services Pty Ltd to distribute its single-wrapped ice cream and frozen confectionary products to petrol and convenience retailers nationally. The agreement contained a condition that PFD could not distribute any competing ice-cream products in certain locations around Australia.

During the term of the distribution agreement, PFD made requests to distribute competing ice-cream products to petrol and convenience retailers nationally, but the ACCC alleges these requests were rejected by Peters.

The ACCC alleges that, for new entrants, PFD was the only distributor capable of distributing single-wrapped ice-cream products to national petrol and convenience retailers on a commercially viable basis. Unlike PFD, other potential distributors did not have a national frozen food route to these retailers.

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