Supermarket fuel discounts should face axe says PRA

Published 25/02/2013 00:00:00 in Press Releases

“The initiative by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that will see supermarkets stick to helping shoppers with lower grocery pricing instead of subsidising fuel offers is music to the ears of all our small, often family owned and run, petrol filling stations who are facing extinction by the aggressive price discounting from the “big four” UK supermarkets” said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association.


One of the many issues that the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) turned their back on when they published findings last month from their “Call for Information” was supermarket fuel discounting. In direct contrast it appears to their counterparts in Australia.


Madderson continued “Our members have provided data to the OFT showing that fuel discounts lead to higher in-store grocery pricing which is clearly to the detriment of all those shoppers not buying fuel at that store. Instead, supermarkets should help shoppers with the lower grocery pricing as they will be forced to do in Australia and not distort the competitive process in the fuels market.


“We provided evidence to the OFT that every one new supermarket forecourt takes away the entire fuel volume from five existing independents in that area. This directly leads to local job losses and reduction in local amenities especially as many new hypermarket forecourts are now being built as “automats” without the need for any staff. Aggressive pricing and discounting has already forced the closure of thousands of independents and that trend is going to continue without the sort on pragmatic action now being proposed in Australia.”


The decision by the OFT to ignore all evidence and decline to undertake the full Market Study needed has been roundly criticised by motoring organisations, trade bodies and MP’s from every Party.


This bold proposal by the ACCC shows the OFT how to take the lead in ensuring fair competition for the petrol retailing sector. Now is the time for the OFT to re-consider their position with the UK market before yet more independent forecourts close their pumps, never to re-open for business.


ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS:


Further information on ACCC initiative can be found below:


http://m.theaustralian.com.au/news/supermarket-fuel-discounts-face-axe/story-e6frg6n6-1226583090367


Keely Scanlan, Press Officer

Tel: 020 7307 3410

Mob: 07825097697

Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422   

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