The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to be granted new powers to monitor the road fuel market under tough new powers that will highlight any attempt by retailers to unfairly hike up fuel prices.
Under new amendments tabled today (15 November) to the Digital Markets, Competition & Consumers Bill, the CMA will become the body responsible for closely monitoring road fuel prices and reporting any sign of malpractice to the government.
Fuel retailers, including supermarkets, will be forced to say how much they are charging customers on their forecourts versus their profits. Those that fail to comply could face a fixed fine from the watchdog of up to 1% of their worldwide turnover, or an ongoing fine of up to 5% of daily turnover.
The watchdog will use the information gathered from retailers to provide regular public updates on the state of competition in the UK fuel market, as well as report any evidence of unjustified price increases so the government can hold retailers to account.
Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, said: “At a time when many were struggling with increased living costs, we saw shocking behaviour from some fuel retailers who failed to pass on savings at the pump.
“Now we are cracking down on any petrol station bosses found to be unfairly hiking up their prices.
“That’s why we’re giving the CMA new powers to bring fairness back to the forecourts and make sure UK drivers get a competitive fuel price.”
In addition, the government is progressing plans to make it a legal requirement for fuel retailers to share daily price information that will help customers to easily shop around for deals. A consultation on the design of government’s open data scheme is due to launch this autumn.
Minister for Energy Consumer and Affordability, Amanda Solloway, said: “I’m pleased to see many retailers cooperate with the CMA so far, to share their price information and bring competition back to our petrol stations.
“I now urge comparison sites and others to get onboard to help UK motorists find the best local price for their fuel.“