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Italian antitrust inquires into petrol price hikes

Authority asks major oil companies for information

- ROME, MAR 18 - The Italian antitrust authority on Friday said it has asked leading oil companies for information over soaring fuel prices that have led to big hikes for petrol and diesel at the mpump.
    "Following the extraordinary increase in fuel and gasoline prices registered over the past few days, as well as the many complaints received", the authority said in a statement that it has forwarded to major oil companies a detailed request for information, with the support of finance police.
    The authority said the objective is to "look into the reasons behind such increases and, eventually, to evaluate the existence of areas for possible intervention only in the event of a violation of rules regarding the abuse of a dominant position or agreements restricting competition".
    As during the first months of the COVID pandemic, the antitrust stressed that it was "careful to monitor the exceptional price increases that are registered sometimes during critical phases and to verify that such phenomena are not the outcome of behavior limiting competition".


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