Fuel prices, Codacons: snap exposed to Antitrust

For possible anti-competitive agreement

A new legal offensive starts on fuel prices Codacons, which calls into question the Antitrust asking to open an investigation into the possible case of anti-competitive agreement. And so, after reporting to the Public Prosecutors and Guardia di Finanza, tomorrow the consumers’ association will present a formal complaint to the Antitrust, asking to open a case for a possible anti-competitive cartel in the fuel sector, and to acquire the useful documentation to understand whether speculative maneuvers are underway to unjustifiably raise the price lists at the pump. “We want to understand if within the fuel supply chain there are cartels, agreements or other strategies prohibited by law aimed at unjustifiably increasing the prices of petrol and diesel at the pump – explains Codacons – Net of the increase in excise duties decided by the Government which did not extend the discount of 18.3 cents, the increase in prices recorded in recent days at distributors throughout Italy does not seem to respond to the trend in oil prices”.

In fact, Codacons observes that by examining only the last few weeks, it turns out that Brent has depreciated by -25.5% in two months, going from 99 dollars a barrel on 7 November 2022 to the current 73.7 dollars. The situation is similar for the WTI, which goes from 92.5 dollars a barrel in November to 78.6 dollars today (-15%). Even compared to 30 December 2022, the last day of surveys for the past year, when oil closed at 80.26 dollars a barrel, prices are down by -8.2%.

“We ask the Government to extend the scope of application of law 231 of 2005 which prohibits excessive increases in retail prices in the agri-food sector, introducing the same principle also to the fuel sector and defining the ‘anomalous price’ in a certain and precise way, i.e. the maximum percentage increase in the price lists beyond which the offense is punishable under the laws of the State” declares the president Carlo Rienzi.

We have also decided to launch a national boycott of the most expensive distributors, inviting Italian motorists to check the prices in their own territory, also through the special apps that indicate the most convenient operators, and not to refuel at the pumps that charge excessive prices. At the same time, we ask consumers to send us photos of distributors who charge petrol or diesel prices above 2 euros per liter, for reporting the case to the competent authorities” adds Rienzi.