Germany's government plans watchdog agency to control pump prices

02 May 2012 17:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s government plans to set up an agency to supervise prices for gasoline and diesel at the country’s petrol stations, it said on Wednesday.

Under proposed legislation, the operators of Germany’s 14,700 petrol stations will have to report prices and volumes of their fuel sales to the agency. They also have to report where they buy the fuels, what volumes they buy, and at what prices.

The move comes amid complaints about rising prices and unpredictable pricing policies on Germany’s retail petrol market.

Economics minister Philipp Rosler said that the current pricing of fuels at petrol stations was not transparent.

“I can understand that drivers are angry about the constant up and down of fuel prices at the pump,” he said.

Rosler added that the new agency would help competition authorities to determine whether oil firms are abusing their market power.

The watchdog would be set up in a way to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy, he added.

However, Germany’s refiners trade group MWV said the government was creating a costly bureaucratic monster, at the expense of drivers who would have to bear the additional costs.

Furthermore, the watchdog would not change the reality that the primary reason for rising gasoline and diesel prices are rising prices of crude oil, MWV general manager Klaus Picard said.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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