Bulgaria anti-trust watchdog’s latest fuel market analysis finds no collusion

Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said said that it has completed its latest analysis of the petrol and diesel fuel market, its third in seven years, and found no evidence of collusion.

The increase in fuel prices in 2018 was short-lived and gradual, which could be explained by objective criteria related to the competition environment, distribution costs, as well as routine supply and demand fluctuations.

CPC said that it began the sector analysis in November 2018 and covered the period of time from February 2016, when it completed its previous report, and the end of 2018.

The earlier report led to an investigation that resulted in CPC accusations against six companies of involvement in a price-fixing cartel on the fuel distribution market, but the case was closed in March 2017 without any fines, after the companies in question put forth proposals for measures meant to fix competition issues.

In its latest analysis, CPC said that the commitments undertaken in 2017 were being “timely and adequately implemented.”

The regulator also weighed in on the recent amendments to the Fuels Act, saying that the requirements put in place by the law could lead to some market participants exiting the market and becoming an “insurmountable barrier to activities.”

In order to improve competition on the fuels market, CPC recommended a package of measures, including the creation of state-owned tax warehouses for fuels, creating an electronic platform that would track available space in tax warehouses in real time, reviewing regulatory and administrative barriers on activities in the market, as well as measures to strengthen controls on the quality of fuels sold in the country.

(Photo: Ramzi Hashisho/freeimages.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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