PMNZ seeks injunction
PMNZ seeks injunction to prevent BATNZ cutting off consumer access to better alternatives to smoking
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – [21/3/18] – Philip Morris (New Zealand) Limited (PMNZ) today announced it is commencing legal proceedings against British American Tobacco (New Zealand) Limited (BATNZ) to stop it from engaging in anti-competitive conduct.
PMNZ alleges that BATNZ is unlawfully incentivising and compelling retailers to restrict the availability of competitor products.
PMNZ General Manager Jason Erickson said: “BAT’s conduct restricts consumer choice, and we think it constitutes a clear breach of the law.”
“BAT’s conduct is particularly concerning in light of the Government’s 2017 announcements that it plans to introduce legislation to ensure adult smokers have access to less harmful alternatives to smoking. Urgent action is needed to prevent BAT from relying on existing practices to punish consumers by cutting off their access to these products.” Mr Erickson said.
PMNZ said it’ll ask the Court to prohibit BATNZ from engaging in this conduct, which it believes breaches the Commerce Act 1986.