ACCC Should Look at Caltex Buyout
Australia's peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, has called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure motorists are not disadvantaged by today's announcement that Caltex will buy out 302 Mobil service station sites.
AAA - which represents Australia's motoring clubs and some 6.5 million members - voiced concerns about the potential for the purchase to lessen competition and increase petrol prices, particularly in regional areas.
AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, was commenting on the Caltex announcement that it has purchased the Mobil sites for approximately $300 million, subject to ACCC and Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
Mr Harris said the ACCC should inquire into the possible impacts of the buyout.
"Such a substantial purchase of 302 service station sites around the country clearly has the potential to concentrate ownership with a few companies, leading to fewer outlets, a lessening of competition and increased prices," Mr Harris said.
"We are particularly concerned about the potential adverse impacts in regional areas and the need to ensure competition in the marketplace.
"AAA and our Constituent clubs would like to see the ACCC look at the Caltex purchase in the interests of Australian motorists and to confirm there will not be a decrease in outlets and competition."