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Fuel pump prices to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to conduct “a swift high-level review of competition in the fuel retail market”.

The move comes after a request from the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

In a letter to the CMA, Mr Kwarteng said that following a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty in March the British public are frustrated that support for drivers “does not always appear to have been passed through to forecourt prices and that in some towns, prices remain higher than in similar, nearby towns”.

He said: “There remains widespread concern about the pace of the increase in prices at the forecourt and, that prices may not fall as much or as fast as they rise.”

According to data from Experian Catalist, the average price of petrol in the UK on Monday 13 June was 185.4p per litre whilst the price for a litre of diesel averaged 190.43p, both record highs.

The CMA is expected to deliver its initial findings by 7 July 2022. Mr Kwarteng has also asked the CMA to undertake “a longer-term market study under the Enterprise Act 2002, to explore whether the retail fuel market has adversely affected consumer interests”.

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “We all know who is paying rocketing pump prices: millions of drivers and businesses, many of whom are being stretched to financial breaking point. But who exactly is making money and are they doing so fairly? Whether it turns out to be the oil companies, speculators or the retailers it’s high time for the CMA to shed some light on an industry whose finances are, to most of us, about as transparent as a barrel of crude.

“While the CMA will hopefully clarify who’s profiting from these record prices let’s not forget that almost half of what we fork out on the forecourt goes straight into the chancellor’s coffers.

“Having decided to take a slice of the oil companies’ profits surely now the chancellor should share some of his own windfall gains from VAT on fuel with the hard-pressed consumers who’ve been paying it.”


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