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Petrol Stations (Tenancies)

Volume 982: debated on Monday 31 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the practice of certain major oil companies in terminating, or threatening to terminate, tenancies of petrol stations in order that they can run these stations as company-owned and managed operations.

Monopoly references are normally made by the Director General of Fair Trading. The 1979 report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission considered the effects of company ownership of retail sites and concluded that the 1977 level of company-owned sites, whether directly managed, tenanted, or licensed, did not operate against the public interest and that there was no specific evidence that managed outlets were used aggressively or unfairly in local competition. As the Commission suggested, the Director General is keeping

value, was imported in 1977 and 1978; and what were the countries of origin of this oil in each of these years.

Details of imports of sperm oil in these years were given to my hon. Friend on 14 June in my reply to two previous questions on this subject [Official Report, Vol. 968, c. 297.] The countries of origin of imports of 50 tonnes or more of oil in 1977 were Australia, the Netherlands and Norway and in 1978 Australia and Norway.