ACCC review of BP’s proposed acquisition of Woolworths’ retail service stations

Closed 14 Apr 2017

Opened 29 Mar 2017

Overview

BP Australia is proposing to acquire Woolworths’ network of service stations.

BP also plans to enter into an ongoing partnership with Woolworths in relation to food and convenience stores at service stations. Woolworths’ shopper dockets will continue to be redeemable at former Woolworths sites and at some BP sites.

The ACCC would like to hear from consumers about the following:

  • What are the main factors that determine your decision of where to buy fuel? To what extent are you loyal to a specific service station, a particular operator (e.g. Woolworths) or a particular brand (e.g. BP)?
  • How far are you willing to travel in response to a difference in fuel prices between service stations?
  • How would you compare the offering at BP and Woolworths service stations compared to those at other competitors? In addition to the price of fuel, you may wish to consider other factors such as the location, range of fuels or non-fuel offering on the site.

Background

BP currently supplies fuel to approximately 1,400 BP-branded service stations throughout Australia. Of these sites, BP sets the price at 347 sites. At the remaining sites, prices are set independently by third-party site operators.

Woolworths’retail fuel business comprises 528 sites throughout Australia. It currently operates these sites in a co-branded alliance with Caltex Australia. Following BP’s acquisition of the Woolworths sites, BP would provide its own wholesale fuel supply to these sites.

How to make a comment

You can make a submission via email using BP-Woolworths-Petrol@accc.gov.au or by post to:

ACCC Merger Investigations Branch
Attention: Andrew Gallagher
GPO Box 3648
Sydney NSW 2001

Your comments will not be published on the ACCC’s website. If you would like to know more about confidentiality or have any questions, please contact us.

More detail about the ACCC’s review is on the public register. We update our public register throughout the review.

What can the ACCC do?

If the ACCC forms the view that the proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition, we can decide to ‘oppose’ it.

If that happens, BP may decide not to proceed with the transaction, or may restructure the transaction to address the ACCC’s concerns. However, we cannot stop BP from going ahead with the transaction – only a court has the power to do that. If BP decided it still wanted to go ahead with the transaction, the ACCC can apply to the Federal Court for orders which may include an injunction, divestiture, or penalties.

For more information about the legal test, see the ACCC's approach to merger reviews.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All consumers

Interests

  • Petrol, diesel & LPG