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14 December 2017

ACCC decision on proposed BP acquisition of Woolworths service stations welcomed

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has welcomed the ACCC decision to oppose the proposed acquisition by BP Australia of the Woolworths network of retail service station sites.

After a lengthy investigation, the ACCC determined that BP acquiring Woolworths’ service stations would substantially lessen competition in the retail supply of fuel.

Ombudsman Kate Carnell said the decision was good news for existing BP-branded franchisees.

“If the application had been approved it would have had a detrimental effect on the commercial value of existing BP-branded operations,” Ms Carnell said.

“These small business owners entered into multi-year commercial arrangements and paid fees to BP to operate under a BP brand.

“The BP-branded sites operate in competition with Woolworths and Woolworths/Caltex-branded sites.

“The ACCC decision maintains a level playing field and preserves local-area competition.”