By James Glynn
SYDNEY--Australia's biggest food retailers will face a parliamentary inquiry into price gouging amid an ongoing steep jump in the cost of living.
Grocers Coles and Woolworths will face the inquiry after Greens senator Nick McKim called for the investigation, accusing the companies of unfair price increases, adding that their chief executives would be questioned.
"This inquiry is a critical step toward dismantling the market concentration that's led to unfair pricing and stifled competition," he said on Sunday. "We'll find a way to dismantle their power and bring grocery -prices down."
Inflation in Australia raced at an annual rate of more than 8% in 2022, but has since cooled sharply.
Still, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Michele Bullock, recently identified "home grown" forces as the major drivers of consumer-price inflation, not global factors like the war in Ukraine and supply chain blockages.
Assistant Competition Minister Andrew Leigh said Sunday that the center-left Labor government supported the inquiry, saying Australians need answers to why prices are rising.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires