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Mineral oil

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Fuel Sector Inquiry

In May 2011 the Bundeskartellamt finalised its first sector inquiry into the mineral oil sector the fuel sector inquiry. With this study the market structures and competition in the petrol station markets were analysed. The results have shown that there is no substantial competition between the five major oil companies BP (Aral), Jet ExxonMobil (Esso), Total and Shell and that they therefore form a dominant oligopoly on the petrol station markets.

This result is of prime significance for the activities of the Bundeskartellamt in the fuel sector. The Bundeskartellamt can monitor further merger plans in the petrol station markets very closely on the basis of these findings and prevent abusive practices by the oligopolists, e. g. by making sure that the independent petrol stations are supplied by the oligopolists at fair conditions. Please also see press release of 6 Dec. 2010 and the decision of the Federal Court of Justice, BGH (German Version) concerning the intention of Total Deutschland GmbH to acquire 59 petrol stations belonging to OMV Deutschland GmbH.

Sector inquiry into refineries and oil wholesale sector

In September 2012 the Bundeskartellamt has initiated its second sector inquiry in the mineral oil sector. This inquiry focuses on the competitive conditions on the production and wholesale levels of the mineral oil sector upstream of the petrol station markets. This concerns the refinery sector on one hand and the transport and storage of crude oil and mineral oil on the other. Furthermore the trading activities on the mineral oil markets are to be investigated.

Market Transparency Unit for Fuels

Due not least to the findings of the Fuel Sector Inquiry and based on a decision taken by the Federal Government, the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels commenced operations in September 2013 at the Bundeskartellamt. This unit enables the consumer to get an updated and comprehensive picture at all times of the petrol prices in his area and consequently to select the petrol station with the lowest prices.