The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim authorisation to Office Choice members and franchises to collectively bargain, or appoint intermediaries to collectively bargain on their behalf, with office products suppliers.

ACCC deputy chair Michael Schaper said the interim authorisation will remain in place until it is revoked or the date on which the ACCC's final determination on the application comes into effect.

“The ACCC considers that granting interim authorisation will avoid unnecessary disruption to Office Choice businesses, as well as the suppliers of office products with whom Office Choice contracts,” he said.

The ACCC may review the decision to grant interim authorisation at any time, including at the draft determination stage, should the ACCC’s assessment indicate that this is appropriate. The granting of interim authorisation in no way binds the ACCC in its consideration of the substantive application for authorisation.

The ACCC will now seek submissions on the application from interested parties before issuing a draft determination.