SOFIA Oct 10 Bulgaria's anti-monopoly
commission on Monday accused six oil companies operating on its
retail fuel market of involvement in cartel agreements on fuel
The commission said Lukoil Bulgaria, part of LUKOIL
, Shell Bulgaria, part of Royal Dutch Shell,
OMV, Eko Bulgaria, a unit of Hellenic Petroleum
, Petrol and Nis Petrol, which is controlled
by Russia's Gazprom Neft had collaborated to fix
retail prices of diesel and gasoline.
"The Commission considers that the actions of the
above-mentioned companies constitute a violation, resulting in a
prohibited agreement and or concerted practice to exchange price
information and conduct a common pricing policy as well as
exchanging information on sales," the commission said in a
The commission began investigating fuel retailers in
February after many Bulgarians complained of high fuel costs
despite a plunge in global oil prices
A spokeswoman for Lukoil Bulgaria declined comment, saying
the company needs time to see the commission's findings.
The other five companies were not immediately available for
comment. They denied any involvement in price-fixing when the
commission launched its inquiry.
The companies will have 30 days to comment on the findings
of the commission.
The initial inquiry included Rompetrol, which is
not on the current list of fuel retailers the commission says
are part of the cartel.
In April, the watchdog raided the offices of OMV, Lukoil
Bulgaria, Royal Dutch, Rompetrol and Hellenic Petroleum.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Tsvetelia