End of island fuel investigation

The investigation started in January 2013.
The investigation started in January 2013.

The CMA has today accepted binding commitments from Certas Energy UK Limited (Certas) and DCC plc which aim to improve competition in the supply of petrol and diesel to filling stations in the Western Isles of Scotland.

The commitments bring an end to contracts which provided for many filling stations on the islands to buy fuels exclusively from Certas for five years. Filling stations will now have greater flexibility to choose whether or not they purchase fuels from Certas, and the terms of those arrangements. The commitments will also open up access to Certas’ marine terminals at Loch Carnan in South Uist and Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis to potential competitors for five years.

The CMA (and previously the Office of Fair Trading) had been investigating a possible infringement of competition law in the islands, relating in particular to the contractual arrangements between Certas and certain filling stations for the wholesale supply of road fuels.

Following acceptance of the commitments, the CMA has now closed its investigation.

Ann Pope, CMA Senior Director of Antitrust Enforcement, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured these commitments from Certas, which offer a real opportunity for rival fuel distributors to enter the Western Isles market on a long-term basis. This should ultimately help make fuel prices more competitive and benefit people and businesses in the islands.”