The Romanian Competition Council has recently indicated that it will put together a Price Comparison Tool to monitor fuel prices, after the Government approved a Memorandum for setting up a price monitoring system for fuel prices.

The price comparison tool is intended to act as a platform to increase market transparency for consumers, so that they are able to choose suppliers on the best price-quality ratio criterion.

The Competition Council believes that increased transparency on the market will increase competition on the market of retail trading of fuel and positively impact fuel prices, its quality, and the ancillary services offered by fuel supply stations.

The President of the Competition Council stated that the monitoring system requires a database including a list of all fuel suppliers, the location of all fuel stations, the type of fuel and the pump prices in each such location. An amendment to the Competition Law is needed to allow the Competition Council to request such data from companies active on this market.

At the beginning of 2017, the Romanian Competition Council opened a sector investigation on the fuel supply market, which was sparked by the authority’s view that prices for retail supply of fuel in Romania were too rigid compared to European prices, and that they did not always reflect fluctuations in international price quotation for oil products.

The investigation, which is still pending, analyses an extensive variety of data and information. Companies active on this market must, when receiving a request for information from the Competition Council, comply with the request and provide accurate information. So far, the authority has requested information on retail prices of car fuels (gasoline and diesel), and on other matters, such as minimum stocks.

Last year, the Competition Council issued a series of recommendations for promoting competition on the retail fuel market – one of its recommendations at that time was the creation of a price comparison tool, an idea which now looks likely to be converted to practice.