Gasoline: the Competition Authority is looking into the Corsican case

The institution announces that it has “automatically referred to alleged practices in the sector of the supply, storage and distribution of fuels” on the Island of Beauty.

Corsican specificity in terms of fuel distribution is back on the menu of the Competition Authority. The latter announced this Wednesday to have “automatically seized of alleged practices in the sector of the supply, storage and distribution of fuels in Corsica” .

The automatic referral decision follows an investigation carried out by the investigation services in the same sector for a few months, explains the Authority, which refuses for the moment to really say more.

“The Competition Authority will not make any other comments, neither on the suspected practices, nor on the identity of the companies or associations of companies potentially concerned “, one can read in a press release. The fact remains that an ex officio referral is put in place “when economic players infringe competition law, in particular in the presence of agreements or abuse of a dominant position”. It can therefore lead to a notification of grievances which opens an adversarial procedure.

Quasi-monopoly situation

“This decision to refer ex officio in no way prejudges the guilt of any company or association of companies whatsoever”, nevertheless insists the Authority.

If the Sages of the rue de l’Echelle do not go into details, the very unique specificity of the distribution of fuels in Corsica is well known.

storage on the island belong to the same actor, DPLC (Les Dépôts Pétroliers de la Corse), controlled at 75% by the company Rubis since 2017. Which itself is largely the leader in the distribution of gasoline in Corsica with 64 of 75 service stations on the island.

A quasi-monopoly situation which would partly explain why gasoline is more expensive in Corsica than on the mainland. And a paradox since the island benefits from reduced VAT on fuel (13% instead of 20).

Enough to provoke the anger of the inhabitants, who created a collective, and an investigation of the general inspectorate of finance which is perhaps the source of the self-referral to the Autorité de la concurrence.

Olivier Chicheportiche Journalist BFM Business