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New Zealand will force supermarkets to allow competitors access to their wholesale units

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News Tech: WELLINGTON, Aug 24 (Reuters) – The New Zealand government said on Wednesday it plans to introduce regulations that would force the wholesale arms of supermarkets to provide competitors fair access to their products if they do not do it voluntarily.

Foodstuffs, a New Zealand-owned retailer cooperative, and Countdown, which is part of Australia’s Woolworths Group Ltd (WOW.AX) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shift comes as New Zealanders grapple with inflation running at 7.3%, its highest level in three decades and follows other government measures aimed at improving competition in the sector which is dominated by just two companies.

The new rules, which still have to be passed into law, require the wholesale arms of the supermarkets to sell groceries to rival retailers at competitive prices set by a regulator unless they voluntarily give access.

RegisterReporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Source: Reuters Trust Principles.

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