Because the tank discount hardly reaches the consumer, it rains criticism. Chancellor Scholz has now spoken out, who sees at least a partial effect. Economics Minister Habeck has announced that antitrust law will be tightened.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees a partial effect of the controversial tank discount. A government spokesman said on Monday in Berlin that the chancellor’s assessment was that the tank discount had a partial effect. It’s not that the tax cut didn’t do anything. It can be assumed that the prices at the gas stations would be significantly higher if the tax reduction did not exist. There are no considerations to change or cancel the tank discount.

However, the federal government will take a very close look to see whether anyone is taking advantage of this situation and making profits that are not justified, the spokesman said. The Chancellery will take a close look at the proposals from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

At the beginning of June, the energy tax on fuel was reduced for a limited period of three months. However, there is criticism of the mineral oil companies because the fuel prices are clearly too high despite the tax cut.

Against this background, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had announced that he wanted to tighten antitrust law and announced antitrust law “with claws and teeth”. A core element should be “quasi a reversal of the burden of proof,” said Habeck on Monday on Deutschlandfunk. Support was signaled by top politicians from the SPD and, to some extent, from the FDP.

Habeck confirmed that the reduction in mineral oil tax decided by the government was only partially passed on by the companies in the form of price reductions, currently around half. However, this had also been the case before with similar tax cuts. “That’s why it was never our wish, our idea to do this tax cut,” said the Green politician.

“If a not-so-good idea goes badly, then of course you still have to help,” the minister continued. To this end, the antitrust law reform already provided for in the coalition agreement should be brought forward to this year.

Habeck explained that the cartel office should be given more rights for more detailed examinations. Above all, it should be sufficient in the future if there is “an effect like a cartel” in pricing, without unauthorized price fixing having to be proven. Habeck wants to make it easier to siphon off profits.

However, the Ministry of Economics admitted that the new regulation could not have a short-term effect, but only “in the future”. Nevertheless, the announcement is already “a signal that can have an effect on the market,” said a spokeswoman. There should be concrete proposals for the amendment in a few weeks.