The Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWK) intends to present a draft law to tighten antitrust law in the near future.
A ministry spokeswoman told BILD am SONNTAG: “As announced in June, the BMWK is working on a comprehensive amendment to antitrust law and will shortly initiate departmental coordination with a specific draft law.” Where the market structure is opposed to competition, “for example because there are only a few suppliers on the market and parallel price developments to the detriment of consumers can be observed regularly”, the intervention instruments of antitrust law are to be strengthened.
The coalition partner SPD increases the pressure on Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Matthias Miersch, is calling for “antitrust law with claws and teeth, as announced by the Economics Minister in the summer”. The reform must come now. In the oil sector in particular, there are completely unjustified speculative profits made by large oil companies. “In such a crisis, there must be no undue profits at the expense of the citizens.”
The President of the Bundeskartellamt, Andreas Mundt, said: “In all probability, collusion, i.e. secret agreements on pricing, are not the problem.” The companies could observe each other and copy the prices of the competition and imitate them. It probably doesn’t need a deal. “But we can only sanction behavior that is prohibited by law. We are currently examining the previous black box in refineries and wholesale, because this is where large profits are made and not only at the gas station,” said Mundt.
According to ADAC Transport President Gerhard Hillebrand, the fact that petrol prices in Germany are often higher than in other European countries is not just a question of different taxation. Hillebrand told the “Bild am Sonntag”: “It’s not just due to different taxes. Instead, EU figures show that the price without the tax component is sometimes significantly higher in Germany.” Hillebrand expects “that the announced sector report by the Federal Cartel Office will provide clarity and disclose the structures. The federal government is called upon to develop instruments that strengthen competition in the German mineral oil market.