The blocked acquisition boosted BP rival Caltex Australia Ltd, which stood to lose a major fuel supply contract with Woolworths that it said previously would have cost it up to A$150 million in lost earnings before interest and tax, or 15 percent of its forecast earnings for 2017.
However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said BP service stations now averaged higher prices than Woolworths ones, and the acquisition would lessen that competition from the supermarket giant and probably push prices higher.
BP has higher prices on average, generally increases prices faster and is slower to make discounts compared to Woolworths, according to the ACCC. Many consumers seeking out cheaper petrol will head to Woolworths petrol stations.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the deal would substantially lessen competition as fuel prices would probably increase at Woolworths sites if BP were to buy them.
Woolworths now operates 531 sites and has 12 sites in development.
"Reduced competition will also mean that prices will not fall as far, or as quickly, in the discounting phase of the cycle", he said.
Renault Zoe (2017) : la série limitée Star Wars !
Sobrement baptisée Zoé Star Wars, cette version se démarque par un sticker spécifique courant sur le capot, le toit et le coffre. Les fans de Star Wars auront certainement remarqué qu'il évoque le vaisseau de Han Solo "Faucon Millénium ".
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said the acquisition will likely substantially lessen competition in the retail fuel market and would have an affect on metropolitan price cycles including fuel price hikes. BP supplies fuel to 1,400 BP-branded service stations throughout Australia, setting fuel prices at about 350 of them.
Woolworths said in a statement it was disappointed with the decision and would work with BP to assess the options.
"Competition in the Queensland fuel market is already weaker than other markets, so a BP takeover would only exacerbate this problem", she said.
The British firm announced a year ago it had agreed to pay US$1.3 billion to buy, rebrand and operate Woolworths' existing 531 fuel and convenience stores, plus 12 sites under construction.
I'm not the only one bullish on the fuel retailer.
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