Fuel Sector – Violation of Competition Law

A recent decision of the Office for Competition found there to be a violation of the competition law rules in a vertical agreement, which took effect when a fuel station, having reduced its price for diesel from a particular supplier, later raised its price again, having succumbed to pressure from that supplier in order to do so.

The Office found there to be a violation of competition law in terms of there being an agreement to maintain high prices for the said diesel. The supplier violated the law in submitting the fuel station owner to raise its prices (and thus to reverse the price reduction). The fuel station owner, to a lesser extent, was declared to have violated competition law by succumbing to that pressure.

This, and other decisions of the Office for Competition, can be downloaded Decisions of the Office for Competition.

Such decisions are subject to appeal to the Consumer and Competition Appeals Tribunal.

By virtue of a recent Constitutional Court judgment, the Office for Competition is currently unable to impose fines when finding infringements of competition law.

By Geraldine Spiteri

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