Morocco’s competition regulator fines fuel companies $180 million

RABAT (Reuters) – Morocco’s competition council said on Thursday it had fined the nine fuel companies operating in the country 1.84 billion dirhams ($180 million) because of non-compliance with free competition rules and price fixing.

The council said it had reached an agreement with the petrol and diesel companies and their professional groups to pay the fine collectively.

In October 2022, the council had issued a report on dysfunctions in the country’s diesel and petrol market, where three companies have 60% market share.

It raised issues relating to price fixing, higher prices compared to international markets and non-compliance with legal provisions relating to storage.

In 2018, the largest fuel distribution company Afriquia, part of a AKWA group, owned by Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, was hit by a boycott by consumers who claimed it was charging too high prices.

Morocco has been importing all its refined energy products after its sole refiner went into liquidation in 2015.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Susan Fenton)