TALLINN - The Estonian Competition Authority began analyzing the competition situation in the retail and wholesale market of motor fuels in late fall 2022 for the purpose of gaining clarity on how these markets function as well as identifying any possible competition failures and, if necessary, provide measures promoting competition
Head of the Competition Authority Evelin Parn-Lee said that this is an economic analysis that is not directly aimed at identifying possible legal violations.
"The goal is to understand how the fuel market really works. We're planning to make the entire analysis process as transparent as possible so that all market participants and consumers could see how the fuel market functions. We hope that our analysis will also provide an answer to how the pricing takes place and whether it is true that if the global price rises, it reaches the gas station almost immediately, but a drop in the global price arrives with a delay," Parn-Lee said.
The study is divided into stages and began with identifying topics, formulating hypotheses and research questions. This week, questionnaires were sent to the nine largest retailers and wholesalers. Within this framework, the Competition Authority also collects information in order to evaluate the profitability of the sale of motor fuels and other services provided at gas stations, the transfer of changes in global fuel prices to Estonian retail prices, the impact of customer programs on the competitive situation, international sources of fuel supply and so on.
"We want to involve and give an opportunity to everyone interested to express their opinion," said Parn-Lee. For this purpose, the Competition Authority will create a separate section on fuel market analysis on its website. Those interested should follow the information published there and the instructions regarding the form and deadlines for submitting opinions.
Considering that such analyzes generally take 12-18 months, the Competition Authority expects to publish the final analysis report by the second half of 2024.
The Competition Authority performs national supervision in the fields of competition, electricity, natural gas, district heating, post, public water supply and sewerage, as well as railway, aviation and ports.