The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a short consultation on changes to the commitments originally proposed by Certas Energy UK to improve competition in the supply of petrol and diesel to filling stations in the Western Isles of Scotland.
The CMA (and previously the Office of Fair Trading) has been investigating a possible infringement of competition law in the islands, relating in particular to the contractual arrangements between Certas and filling stations for the wholesale supply of road fuels.
The OFT announced in March 2014 that it was consulting on commitments proposed by Certas that were designed to address its competition concerns.
The CMA said it engaged with Certas on the substantial number of comments received in response to the consultation and as a result the company has offered to make the following changes to the commitments:
• the proposed throughput arrangements for the Stornoway terminal will last five years rather than just two-and-a-half years (starting on 1 June 2015 and ending on 31 May 2020);
• an additional commitment that ensures the costs of operating the terminal will apply equally to Certas and its competitors to ensure a level playing field .
The CMA said it was minded to accept modified commitments that incorporate these changes, and is inviting interested third parties to comment.
Ann Pope, CMA senior director, anti-trust, said: “We believe that these revised commitments have the potential to help rival fuel distributors to enter the market and to compete with Certas for the supply of road fuels to Western Isles filling stations on a long-term basis.”
Any person wishing to comment on the proposed modifications to the commitments should submit their views to the CMA by 5pm on 4 June 2014 to:
Western Isles Fuel Commitments Consultation
Competition and Markets Authority
London WC1B 4AD