The German anti-cartel office has launched a probe of the motor fuel sector following complaints by independent service stations that major oil companies were gouging them on diesel and petrol prices.
"The goal is to see if the fuel markets are functioning correctly," the office said. An initial check would be made for signs of distorted competition, following which measures would be taken if necessary.
The service stations have complained that major oil companies which have their own distribution networks have forced independents to pay higher prices.
An investigation in the eastern state of Saxony has determined the market is dominated by Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Total.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008