COVID-19: business cooperation to ensure (i) grocery supply and (ii) supply of medical equipment

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Australia’s ACCC and UK’s CMA have recently approved the cooperation between undertakings in order to ensure (i) grocery supply and (ii) supply of medical equipment.

1. Medical technology

Medical technology companies will be allowed to work together to coordinate the supply and potential manufacture in Australia of ventilators, testing kits, personal protective equipment and other medical equipment needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to the Medical Technology Association of Australia (the MTAA) to allow its members and other groups, such as suppliers or distributors of medical equipment, to share information between each other, co-ordinate orders and supply requests, prioritise requests, and jointly tender to supply COVID-19 medical equipment.

(…) The ACCC granted interim authorisation on Wednesday morning after receiving the application on Tuesday, and will now seek feedback on interim authorisation, as well as the application for final authorisation for a period of 12 months. More information, including the ACCC’s statement of reasons, is available at Medical Technology Association of Australia Limited.

2. Grocery supply

Supermarket operators will be able to coordinate immediately to ensure consumers have reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic following the ACCC’s granting of interim authorisation.

The interim authorisation will allow supermarkets to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers. The purpose of this is to ensure the supply and the fair and equitable distribution of fresh food, groceries, and other household items to Australian consumers, including those who are vulnerable or live in rural and remote areas.

The authorisation allows a range of coordinated activities but does not allow supermarkets to agree on retail prices for products.

(…) The ACCC will now seek feedback on the application. Details on how to make a submission are available on the ACCC’s public register along with a Statement of Reasons.”

Finally, the CMA has released a document that explains the approach to business cooperation in response to COVID-19. You can download the document here:

Sources: ACCC | ACCC | CMA

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