The Competition Council will carry out a comparator of prices for fuels, an instrument similar to the one successfully launched for food products a year ago.
The government has approved today the Memorandum on setting up a fuel price monitoring system, a platform that will lead to market transparency for consumers so that they can choose the car fuels with the best price-quality ratio.
Increasing transparency for consumers could enhance the level of competition in the automotive fuel retail market, with beneficial effects on fuel prices, but also on their quality and on the services offered at fuel stations as well, etc.
“In order to implement this application, a database containing the list of all companies selling fuels, the geographic location of the gas stations owned by each, the types of fuels (gasoline and diesel) marketed in each gas station, the pump prices has to be created. As a result, we intend to amend the competition law accordingly so as to create the legal framework based on which data and information to be requested to active companies on the market, fact that will also allow an active monitoring of the prices of oil companies” said Bogdan Chiriţoiu, the President of the Competition Council.
Following the example of the German Competition Authority, the Competition Council will give access to the database, under certain conditions, to other developers of similar application, so that consumers may have at their disposal more platforms which will offer different facilities.
It should be mentioned that at the beginning of this year, the Competition Council launched a sector inquiry into the automotive fuel market, having in view the observed rigidity of the retail prices of fuels in Romania. This phenomenon was found out from the comparative price developments in Romania and the average of prices at European level, but also from the evolution of domestic prices related to changes in international quotations on petroleum products.
We recall that at the beginning of this year, the Competition Council launched a sector inquiry into the automotive fuel market, having in view the observed rigidity of the retail prices of fuels in Romania. This phenomenon was found out from the comparative evolution of prices in Romania and of the average of prices at European level, but also from the evolution of domestic prices related to the changes in international quotations on petroleum products.
Within this investigation, a wide range of data and information from companies operating on this market, including the evolution of retail fuel prices, are analyzed. As a result, companies must provide the Authority with data and information on the factors affecting the retail price level for motor fuels (petrol and diesel) marketed in Romania, but also on other issues, such as minimum stocks.
It must be recalled that the Competition Authority investigated and sanctioned two cartel in the fuel market (6 oil companies were fined with over 200 million Euros, the Competition Council winning the lawsuit in court with them; 3 companies in the wholesale fuel market were fined with approximately 3.7 million Euros).
In addition, the Competition Council has worked out a set of recommendations in order to stimulate competition on the fuel market, the main beneficiaries being the final consumers. In this context, one of the proposals of the Competition Council was the removal of the barriers to the entry on the fuels market, respectively the simplification of the procedures for setting up distribution stations. This would raise the competitive pressure on the companies which are active on the fuels’ market.
Extracted from: Competition Council