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Competition Council establishes no price fixing agreements between "Statoil", "Neste" and "Lukoil"

Photo: Māris Morkans.
RIGA, April 4  - The Competition Council has established no price fixing agreements between Latvia's fuel retailers, and found that Latvian fuel retailers work in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations and market situation.

In the spring of 2010, the Competition Council opened a case on a possible cartel agreement among Latvia's three largest fuel retailers: "Statoil Fuel&Retail Latvia" (Statoil), "Neste Latvija" and "Lukoil Baltija R". The case was opened due to simultaneous changes by the three companies. Although this is not a violation, the Competition Council said it would check if the companies had not concluded price fixing agreements and if their operations were in line with free competition principles and in consumers' interest.

The Competition Council has established, based on fuel cost and pricing analysis and cybertechnical data analysis, that the three companies did watch each other and price changes were often near simultaneous. Nevertheless, each company sets its prices independently, and the three companies are in competition with each other.

Also, fuel prices in Latvia are not disproportionate, and the increase in the prices over a longer period of time is attributable to higher fuel wholesale prices and taxes, and in line with global developments.

The market shares of the three companies changed from 2007 to 2012, which also confirms that the three companies are competing with each other.

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