Caltex acquisition bad news for retail market

Published on Mon, 07/09/2009, 08:33:06

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NRMA motoring and services president Wendy Machin wants the Australian Government to prevent Caltex’s proposed purchase of 302 Mobil service stations.
 
“The ACCC has raised serious concerns that Caltex’s acquisition will reduce competition in the wholesale and retail market,” said Machin.
 
“The NRMA alluded to the fact that competition would be seriously compromised in our submission to the ACCC on the proposed acquisition."
 
Machin said the consequences of this acquisition proceeding can only be detrimental for Australian consumers – with greater market concentration inevitably leading to higher pump prices.
 
“The stimulants of competition at the bowser – the independents – would be under even more pressure to survive should the Caltex deal go through as proposed."
 
The ACCC’s final findings will be released on 7 October that will include Caltex’s answers to the competition questions raised.
 
“We expect the Australian Government to prevent this acquisition from proceeding unless Caltex can prove that the acquisition will not lead to higher fuel prices.”
 
The RACV has said motorists must not be penalised with petrol price hikes if Caltex’s proposed takeover of Mobil service stations go ahead.
 
It also sought assurances from the ACCC that if the acquisition of Mobil by Caltex was successful, there would be no closures of existing service stations and that the quality of fuel would not be compromised.
 
RACV chief engineer, vehicles, Michael Case said it was a positive sign that the ACCC was calling for more information before issuing a decision on the takeover bid.
 
“Petrol prices are a huge concern for motorists and it’s important that any change to the Mobil business does not result in motorists having to pay more when they fill up,” said Case.
 
“This takeover must also not result in a reduction of service stations in metropolitan areas... .”


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