On March 26, 2019, Total Germany (“Total”) abandoned its acquisition of eleven gas stations in the Trier area from family-managed Autohof Görgen after the FCO had expressed preliminary concerns that the transaction would have strengthened BP’s, Shell’s, and Total’s joint dominant position in the regional gas station market[1] resulting in a combined post-transaction market share of 80%.[2] In addition, based on data provided by its Market Transparency Unit for Fuels, the FCO found that the leading gas station operators in the area generally set prices very uniformly and that the fuel price level in the Trier area clearly exceeded the national average price level.

[1]              According to the FCO, the regional market did not cover gas suppliers in Luxembourg where gas prices are generally much lower than in the Trier area. In the FCO’s view, these did not provide a viable alternative source for a considerable proportion of consumers in the Trier area because driving to Luxembourg to fuel their cars was not cost effective for them.

[2]              FCO Press Release, “Total withdraws notification of its acquisition of eleven petrol stations in Trier region after Bundeskartellamt expresses concerns”, April 9, 2019, available in English here; FCO Case Summary (B8-65/18), “Rücknahme der Anmeldung des beabsichtigten Erwerbs von elf Tankstellen im Raum Trier durch Total”, April 9, 2019, only available in German here.