Aldous welcomes OFT decision to call for evidence on price fixing

Waveney MP Peter Aldous today welcomed the decision of the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) to issue a call for information on the UK petrol and diesel sector.

Petrol prices have risen by 38% between June 2007 and June 2012, and diesel prices by 43% over the same period. In light of the continuing public concern about pump prices the OFT study aims to identify and tackle competition problems in the sector by inviting the industry, motoring groups and consumer bodies to submit information.

Mr Aldous is supporting the OFT decision to explore a number of claims about how the UK fuel sector is functioning. This includes an examination as to whether:-

  • reductions in the price of crude oil are being reflected in falling pump prices;
  • supermarkets’ and major oil companies’ practices may be making it more difficult for independent retailers to compete with them;
  • there is a lack of competition between fuel retailers in countryside areas of the UK, such as Waveney;
  • concerns about price co-ordination and the structure of fuel markets of other national competition authorities are relevant in the UK.

Commenting on the move, Mr Aldous said:
“I am very aware that high fuel prices are a burden on people in the Waveney area, where wages are lower than the national average and in travelling to work people have no alternative but to use the car.
The UK oil market has not been investigated since 1998, despite the fact that British petrol and diesel prices are among the highest in Europe and I look forward to the results of the OFT review and the consequent recommendations on how we can move forward.”

Over the next six weeks, the OFT will be collecting data and is due to publish its findings in January 2013.

Contact Peter Aldous MP

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