Expatica news

Hypermarkets ‘offer cheapest fuel’

24 September 2004
MADRID – Petrol prices at most Spanish service stations are virtually identical and only those operating at hypermarkets offer significant discounts, a consumer group said Friday.
According to a report by the Consumers and Users Organization (OCU), 60 percent of petrol prices at pumps around the country are the same and neither the number of service stations in a city nor the number of wholesale distributors seem to have an competitive effect on how much the consumer pays.
OCU spokeswoman Ileana Izberniceanu said the only factor involved in pricing appears to be the presence of hypermarket stations whose low prices can obilge other operators to charge less.
Izberniceanu complained that petrol prices “on rare occasions” in the same city can vary by only some 5 percent which she blamed on most stations getting their supplies from the same distributor despite efforts to liberalise the sector.
“This concentration in the sector harms the consumer and therefore we consider it very important to maintain the existing restrictions on expanding the networks of the large petrol companies,” she added.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news