Petrol prices will rise if BP acquires Woolies servos

The State’s peak motoring body said it feared Queensland motorists would be charged higher petrol prices if BP’s proposed acquisition of Woolworths service stations was approved.

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the Club echoed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) concerns over BP’s plan to purchase Woolworths’ network of 528 petrol sites across the country.

“If this proposal goes ahead it’ll provide BP with far too much market share, lessen competition and be detrimental to Queensland motorists who will end up paying too much for fuel,” Mr Turner said.

“BP is one of the most expensive retailers in Queensland. During the price cycle in the south east, BP’s often the first to hike its prices and one of the last to drop them. When it finally does drop prices, BP doesn’t discount as much as Woolies and others.”

Mr Turner predicted if the deal went ahead, it would increase the average price of fuel and would shorten the cheap phase of the price cycle.

“If successful, this acquisition will lead to one of the cheapest retailers in Queensland, Woolworths, being replaced by one of the most expensive,” he said.

In the first quarter of 2017, the average price charged by Woolworths for regular unleaded in Brisbane was 130.1 cents per litre (cpl), while BP charged 2.2cpl more.

Mr Turner said RACQ would make a second submission to the ACCC regarding the proposed acquisition.

The ACCC expected to release its final decision on 26 October 2017.