Following its invitation for comments in September, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has authorised Liquor Stax Australia to collectively bargain with a range of wholesale suppliers.

Liquor Stax sought authorisation, on behalf of a group of around 200 small businesses comprising liquor merchants and hotels, to collectively bargain with around 60 wholesale suppliers of inputs such as alcohol, cigarettes, poker machines and confectionery as well as services such as advertising, insurance and communications.

"The ACCC considers that the collective bargaining arrangements are likely to result in public benefits by providing Liquor Stax members with greater input into the terms and conditions of supply contracts," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

"Additionally, suppliers and members are both likely to experience transaction cost savings as a result of reducing the number of parties to negotiations."

Participation in the collective negotiations is voluntary for all parties and does not impose any restrictions on a member’s choice of suppliers. The ACCC has granted authorisation for five years.