Gas supplier cartel may have led to higher prices for customers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accused two high profile New South Wales gas suppliers of rigging prices in an anticompetitive manner.

Renegade Gas Pty Ltd, which trades as Supagas NSW, and Origin Energy subsidiary Speed-E-Gas (NSW) Pty Ltd, are alleged to have come to a cartel arrangement in which they agreed not to supply liquid petroleum gas cylinders to forklifts belonging to the others customers.

The two companies are accused of deliberately manipulating the price of gas by agreeing not to approach or make offers to each other's customers, and also by deliberately making offers that were at an uncompetitive price. 

In a press release issued August 23, the ACCC states that it is of the position that these actions were in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act as they may have prevented customers from being able to obtain a more competitive deal on gas prices.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties and costs from both companies, as well as the current and former senior executives who were allegedly involved in the deal.

Ironically, on the official Supagas website the company makes the claim that it is "able to deliver products to its customers at competitive and advantageous prices".

Posted by Callum Fleming