MMC refuses to rescue Milk Marquefrom auction crisis

21 July 1998

MMC refuses to rescue Milk Marque
from auction crisis

THE Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) last night (Monday) failed to come to the rescue of Milk Marque when it refused to rule on how the auction market system should work.

The MMCs decision followed Milk Marques announcement on Friday that it was abandoning the July round of its twice-yearly auctions because it had failed to attract high enough bids from the six leading dairy companies.

The farmers co-operative did not accept the bids of any of its 200 customers and cancelled the round after the disappointing auction.

The major dairy companies had insisted milk prices were too high prior to last weeks auction.

Milk Marque then immediately appealed to the MMC, which is already investigating the milk industry, to give a ruling on how the auctions should be run in a bid to break an impasse in which the dairy companies had put in only token bids.

However, Denise Kingsmill, chairman of the MMCs milk inquiry, said yesterday it was not part of the commissions investigation to give advice on running businesses. Her response precedents a meeting between the co-op and the MMC scheduled for tomorrow – to discuss the current state of play.


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