Small businesses call for competition crackdown

A coalition of industry groups is aiming to find ways to stamp out anti-competitive behaviour in the Australian retail market.

The Fair Competition Coalition will use a meeting this week to highlight the dominance of large companies like Woolworths and Coles, and the way they treat their small business suppliers.

David Purchase, the executive director of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (a member of the coalition), told ABC News Breakfast the coalition is hoping to make fairer competitive practices an election issue next year.

"We think we need to alert the public to these situations much more than is the case," he said.

"We want to put pressure on governments to intervene in the market.

We think the government has to intervene in the market in order to, not protect these small businesses, but to make the competition fair." Mr Purchase says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission may also need to be granted more authority.

"A review of their powers and perhaps giving them more powers is entirely appropriate, but I think we need to do more to ensure the viability and sustainability of small businesses," he added.

"We've got a million small businesses in Australia employing five million employees and we don't want to see these go out the back door because, if we do, we're going to lose those job opportunities."

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