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£30k fine for keeping forecourt purchases quiet

£30k fine for keeping forecourt purchases quiet

Wednesday 02 November 2022

£30k fine for keeping forecourt purchases quiet

Wednesday 02 November 2022

A local fuel company has been fined £30,000 for not telling the competition regulator it had bought and was operating three forecourts.

The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) received a letter in May 2021 from Fuel Supplies CI Limited outlining their intentions to take over the running of Sion Garage (now Rubis Sion), The Fuel (now Rubis First Tower), and MBC Motors (now Rubis Red Houses).

Despite numerous attempts to contact them about this matter between May 2021 and March 2022, the JCRA says it did not receive a formal merger application from FSCI until 23 March 2022.

This application stated that the acquisition had already been completed, and FSCI had signed leases on and was already operating the three forecourts.

Acquisitions have to be approved by the JCRA prior to their execution and, since the application was not submitted until after FCSI had signed the leases and taken over the running of the forecourts, the fuel company was found to be in breach of the law.

 In a recently handed down judgment, the JCRA fined FSCI a total of £29,000 as a result.

Although the JCRA was able to impose a financial penalty of 10% of the turnover of the three forecourts during the time period of the breach, it chose to fine FSCI 2%.

This is in recognition of the fact that the acquisition, which was approved on 10 May 2022 anyway, "does not appear to have lessened competition in Jersey". 

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