Bulgaria’s Anti-Trust Body Launches Probe of Fuel Retailers, Oil Refinery
Bulgaria’s anti-trust regulator has launched a probe of seven petrol and diesel retailers over suspected price-fixing.
A separate investigation of potential abuse of dominant wholesale market position has been launched against Bulgaria’s sole oil refinery Lukoil Neftochim Burgas, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said in a statement on Thursday.
The seven fuel retailers under investigation are Shell Bulgaria,Rompetrol Bulgaria, Eco Bulgaria, OMV Bulgaria, Petrol, NIS Petrol, and Lukoil Bulgaria.
The probe against them was launched after the CPC adopted a sector analysis which showed that they had kept their prices at high levels for long periods of time and failed to react in a timely and adequate manner to decreases in wholesale price and production prices, “which could be the result of anti-competition practices - cartel agreements”, according to the statement.
In the case of Lukoil Neftochim Burgas the sector analysis showed that the refinery had sold automotive fuels in Bulgaria at higher prices compared to the company’s export prices.
“This could mean that the producer prices of oil products in Bulgaria could be influenced by factors other than the market, which could allow Lukoil Neftochim to gain additional economic benefits inside the country, especially in view of its special position of a prominent market leader in the production and import of fuels,” the CPC said.
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