I864 - ICA: investigation initiated vis-à-vis Eni, Esso, Ip, Iplom, Q8, Tamoil and Saras for alleged cartel in the motor fuels sector
According to the Authority, which received a report from a whistleblower, the companies may have coordinated to define the value of the 'bio component' of motor fuels.
The Italian Competition Authority, thanks to a report received through its whistleblowing platform, opened an investigation vis-à-vis Eni, Esso, Ip, Iplom, Q8, Tamoil and Saras for an alleged agreement restricting competition in the sale of transport fuel. According to the Authority, the main oil operators may have colluded in determining the value of the bio-component needed to comply with the obligations set out in the existing legislation. In fact, the law stipulates that at least 10 per cent of motor fuel must consist of bio fuel (without prejudice to the possibility of purchasing “Certificati di Immissione in Consumo”, Certificates of Release for Consumption). The value of this important price component has risen from €20/m3 in 2019 to around €60/m3 today and has an impact on pump prices of around €2 billion.
The Authority questions the companies' simultaneous price increases - mostly coinciding - that may have been implemented through direct or indirect information exchanges between the companies involved, including through articles published in 'Staffetta Quotidiana', a well-known industry newspaper.
Today, the Authority's officials carried out inspections at the main offices of the companies concerned and of other parties deemed to be in possession of relevant elements for the investigation, including the editorial staff of 'Staffetta Quotidiana', with the assistance of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza).
Rome, 19 July 2023