By Boyd Champness

AUSTRALIAS big three supermarkets could face tighter controls on their operations, including a government-funded ombudsman, a mandatory code of practice and a restriction on takeovers, in the wake of a parliamentary inquiry last week. The Stock and Land last week reported that the inquiry stopped short of calling for capped market share for the big three retailers – Woolworths Ltd, Coles Myer Ltd and Franklins, a unit of Singapore-based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd – which together control 80% of the dry packaged goods sector.