Rompetrol Stunned by Bulgarian Watchdog's Fuel Cartel Claims

Energy | March 16, 2012, Friday // 19:51|  views

Four fuel suppliers have formed a cartel in Bulgaria, according to a competition watchdog. File photo

Rompetrol, one of the four gasoline and diesel traders said to be in a fuel price cartel, according to the Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission, has expressed at surprise at the watchdog's findings.

Earlier on Friday, the CPC said the companies involved in a fuel price cartel are Lukoil Bulgaria EOOD, Rompetrol Bulgaria AD, Naftex Petrol EOOD, and OMV BulgariaOOD.

"All activities of Rompetrol have always been in accordance with all national and international legislative acts regulating our activity," Rompetrol Bulgaria said in a statement, as cited by Focus.

The Kazakhstan-owned Romanian fuel supplier, which has recently made clear its plans to expand its network of gas stations in Bulgaria, has further denied the ruling of the Bulgarian competition agency that it is involved in any violations.

"Rompetrol Bulgaria AD shares the principles of equality of all market participants and free competition, and has never, under any circumstances participated in prohibited agreements and/or coordination practices, as claimed by the Commission," the company said, while also adding that it is going to take advantage of the 30-day deadline to file an objection with the anti-trust institution.

Meanwhile, the rightist party Union of Democratic Forces issued a statement asking why the CPC delayed the announcement of its fuel price cartel ruling by 1 day. The UDF urged the government to take emergency measures to defend competition in order to reduce the fuel prices, and reminded that the cartel participants must be fined with 10% of their profit.

In its ruling released Friday, the Bulgarian Competition Commission did not stipulate any fines leaving the decision for its final ruling.

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Tags: CPC, Competition Protection Commission, cartel, cartel agreement, cartel probe, fuel prices, fuel price hike, gasoline, gas, diesel, OMV, Rompetrol, Lukoil Bulgaria, Naftex Petrol


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