An investigation into nine fuel retail firms – including a subsidiary of TotalEnergies – will be launched in Morocco.
Morocco’s Competition Council announced Thursday that it is poised to launch an investigation into the business practices of nine fuel retail firms, including a subsidiary of French oil giant TotalEnergies.
Ever since Morocco abandoned state subsidies on fuel in 2015, allegations of market rigging have multiplied as motorists have seen pump prices rise across the board with little, if any, variation between retailers.
“Prosecutors consider they have sufficient evidence to prove the existence of anti-competitive practices by the accused parties,” the council said.
TotalEnergies Marketing Maroc confirmed it had been notified of the upcoming investigation.
The company, which is listed on the Moroccan bourse, said it was “cooperating fully with the Competition Council’s investigators and preparing the appropriate elements for its response”.
The case dates back to February 2020 when the top three fuel retailers – TotalEnergies Marketing Maroc, Shell distributor Vivo Energy and Afriquia – were fined after the Competition Council ruled they had colluded on pricing.
Market leader Afriquia is owned by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, giving the affair a political edge.
Source : The New Arab