22 January 2004
MADRID – A new inquiry was launched Thursday into how petrol companies are dealing with filling stations.
The investigation into the four main companies in Spain, Repsol, YPF, Cepsa and BP, could have implications for drivers if the are found to be operating unfairly.
Spain’s Competition Defence Service (SDC) is re-opening an earlier inquiry into allegations that the companies are offering worse deals to filling stations that hold exclusivity contracts than to other distribution channels such as their logo-bearing stations or shopping centres.
The Competition Defence Court (TDC) has ordered the SDC to re-open the case against the petroleum companies which was first started in 1995 by the Spanish Confederation of Filling Station Owners (CEEES).
Both bodies initially rejected claims by the filling station owners’ group, but after an appeal it was re-opened.
CEEES claims that despite “better price clauses” in contracts with the petrol companies, many filling stations offer worse commissions and sales margins.
The filling stations group has claimed the loss of advantages has meant that price cuts cannot be passed on to drivers using the stations.
But the petrol companies have welcomed the re-opening of the investigation, claiming it will help consumers.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news