ACCC drafts proposed decision around BP fuel sites

ACCC is currently in the process of coming to a decision on the proposed acquisition of Woolworths’ fuel stations by BP.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a draft decision regarding a commercial agreement between Woolworths and BP.

The draft proposes to grant a conditional authorisation to the alliance between BP Australia Pty Ltd, BP Resellers, and Woolworths Limited.

A ‘go-ahead’ would allow BP service stations to accept shopper dockets from Woolworths customers as part of Woolworths rewards and loyalty program, if BP is successful in its acquisition of Woolworths’ service stations.

The ACCC is currently conducting a separate review of the proposed acquisition.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said customers value discounts and loyalty programs for fuel and related purchases.

“We believe giving consumers more opportunities to redeem shopper docket discounts and earn and redeem points through Woolworths’ loyalty program will likely result in some public benefits,” he said.

The ACCC has shown concern that fuel discounts can consequences of ‘anti-competitive effects’ if they are at a level that cannot be matched by other fuel retailers.

“The ACCC considers that fuel discount offers in excess of 4 cents per litre could have longer-term effects on the structure of the retail fuel markets and that the detriments from reduced competition may outweigh any benefits,” Mr Sims said.

A spokesperson for BP said BP welcomes the draft proposal.

“BP is pleased with the ACCC’s findings that the proposed arrangements will generate public benefits in the form of the additional availability of docket redemption sites, greater uptake of docket discounts, and increased opportunities to earn and redeem benefits under the Woolworths Rewards loyalty program,” they said.

The ACCC is expected to release its final decision in October 2017.

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