The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has pushed back its decision over the sale of Woolworths Ltd’s petrol stations to BP.
In August, the regulator issued a draft decision under which it said it would propose a conditional approval for the deal. However, the decision for that move has now been pushed back to 30 November, which the ACCC said would allow it to gather more information and conduct more analysis.
Rod Sims, Chairman of the ACCC, noted: “The transaction would reduce the number of major rivals in fuel retailing. The transaction could see retailers face less competitive pressure to keep their prices low and as a result, motorists may end up paying more at the pump. Woolworths appears to influence retail market fuel prices by either leading price reductions, or quickly following other retailers that reduce prices, especially in the downwards phase of metropolitan price cycles.
The proposed acquisition removes Woolworths’ influence on metropolitan markets and we are concerned that BP would not follow Woolworths’ pricing strategy. (NamNews)