Retailers have until this Thursday (October 18) to express their concerns to the Office of Fair Trading in its call for information on the fuel retailing industry.
Fuel retailers of all sizes are being urged to respond to an OFT questionnaire, which was modified earlier this month to make it less complex to fill out. The evidence gathered could lead to a full market study of the sector.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers’ Association, said: “The OFT is receiving some very full responses to the questionnaire from groups and larger singletons but we also need the smaller retailers, especially in rural areas to respond – now is their final opportunity.”
The OFT has said it will explore whether reductions in the price of crude oil are being reflected in falling pump prices, and if practices adopted by supermarkets and major oil companies may be making it more difficult for independent retailers to compete with them.
In addition, it will look into whether there is a lack of competition between fuel retailers in some remote communities in the UK, and if concerns about price co-ordination and the structure of road fuels markets identified by other national competition authorities are relevant in the UK.
The PRA is also encouraging operators to copy in their submissions to their local MP asking for them to support a full market study. To find out who your local MP is, click here.
To download the OFT questionnaire click here.