Shortly before the start on Wednesday, the tank discount continues to cause discussions. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) Lindner takes the cartel office to task when enforcing the fuel price brake. The authority explains that it cannot “simply ban” high prices.

The reduction in energy tax on fuels, limited to three months, will take effect from Wednesday. The tax rates for petrol are reduced by 29.55 cents per liter and for diesel by 14.04 cents. The measure is part of the federal government’s relief package, because fuel prices have risen sharply in recent months. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) said on Tuesday that it was the task of the Federal Cartel Office to ensure that the tax cut “reached the car drivers and commuters”.

The Federal Cartel Office also wants to take a very close look at the development of fuel prices in connection with the energy tax cut. Monitoring has been “intensified again,” said President Andreas Mundt. “Even if there is no legal obligation to pass on the tax cut one-to-one, the mineral oil companies are acting under the ‘burning glass’ of the Federal Cartel Office.”

However, Mundt also emphasized: “As a competition authority, we cannot simply ban high, even very high, prices.” They could also arise in competition. So far there is no evidence of anti-trust behavior that could be punished with high fines.

However, competition in the fuel market works “only to a limited extent”, said Mundt. So watch the industry closely. “We have been seeing a decoupling of crude oil prices and refinery and gas station prices for months.”

Since the start of the Ukraine war, fuel prices have climbed to unprecedented heights. In this context, there was repeated criticism that the prices were too high. In this context, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) asked the Cartel Office in the spring to closely monitor fuel prices.