Informed Sources Australia has made its real time retail fuel price information available to consumers and third party organisations, following an undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) late last year.
In December 2015 major fuel retailers including Coles Express, BP, Caltex, Woolworths, and 7-Eleven terminated their subscriptions to Informed Sources’ petrol price information sharing service after legal action was launched by the ACCC.
The ACCC alleged the information sharing arrangement operated between Informed Sources and retailers allowed them to communicate with each other about their prices, and that those arrangements had the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening market competition.
As part of the undertaking with the ACCC, Informed Sources agreed that it would not supply pricing information to retailers unless the data was also made accessible to consumers for free and to third parties on reasonable commercial terms.
BP, Caltex, Woolworths, and 7-Eleven also agreed that they would not enter into or give effect to any price information exchange services unless the information was also made available to consumers and third party organisations.
“With agreement reached between Informed Sources, BP, Caltex, Woolworths, 7-Eleven and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) late last year, we had the go-ahead needed to enable the frequent release of this data to the consumer,” Alan Cadd, Informed Source’s managing director, said.
“I applaud these retailers who are sharing their data with the motorists in such a manner and I encourage others retailers (big and small) to get on board with this service.”
Informed Sources captures retail fuel price information in a number of ways including electronic capture from its larger subscribers. The dot-e-map and city averages charts are freely available on both the MotorMouth website and smartphone app. App users also have the ability to tap on a dot to display the price at the service station.
“We see this as a real win for the motorist as they will be able to see accurate prices on a timely basis through our subsidiary MotorMouth, and with the innovation of app developers and commercial groups accessing the data from here on, we also expect motorists to enjoy smarter options in how to view this information in the future,” Mr Cadd said.
New South Wales fuel data deadline looms
Service station retailers in New South Wales are currently being asked to provide their business information to NSW Fair Trading by June 30, as part of new legislation announced by the State Government in March.
NSW Fair Trading said it will use this information to help develop policy options to implement the reforms. Information such as service station location, trading hours and contact details will be used to register service stations for a new online price board, FuelCheck, which is expected to be operational by mid-2016.