Woolies hardware plan will 'devastate' independents: Xenophon

INDEPENDENT Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon says the proposed takeover of hardware supply company Danks Holdings by Woolworths and Lowe’s will destroy competition and drive independent hardware stores out of the market.

Contrary to the claims of Woolworths that the acquisition will allow them to continue to support and grow the independent retailers, Senator Xenophon states that it "will allow Woolworths access to information about more than 1500 independent stores around the country" and that "Woolworths will know which stores are doing well, which stores are worth taking over and which stores can be put out of business."

According to Senator Xenophon, competition law expert Professor Frank Zumbo from the University of New South Wales supports his stance. "Woolworths is already the most powerful retailer in this country with over 3000 stores," Professor Zumbo said. "This deal will increase this already unacceptable market power even further."

Senator Xenophon is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to block the deal.

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