ACCC to report on petrol company costs

The Federal Government is directing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to open the books of petrol companies and companies involved in all aspects the petrol supply chain.


The Government has issued a new direction to the ACCC giving them the power to monitor the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of petroleum products and related services in Australia for the next two years.


The Government's expanded direction to the ACCC will mean the watchdog will be better able to drill into the claims petrol companies make for price increases, such as the source of supply and quality of fuel sold in Australia and the impact of international prices and taxes.


The reports will be produced and released on a quarterly basis and will give the ACCC the freedom they need to analyse and comment on developments in the industry in more depth than previously.


Previous regional market studies, while useful in understanding the drivers of high prices in regional locations, were providing diminishing returns for consumers as the ACCC found similar factors were driving high prices across different locations.


The Government’s new direction has been broadened to allow the ACCC to compulsorily obtain information from companies that provide a service to the industry (such as independent terminal operators), but which are not directly involved in the supply of petroleum products.


This will ensure that the ACCC can go where it needs to in order to bring to light any practices that harm Australians’ access to a better deal.


The Government direction was issued under section 95ZE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.


The ACCC’s first quarterly report will be issued in the first quarter of 2018.


3 January 2017.