Coles Express has agreed to stop using petrol price comparison website Informed Choices after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took it and a number of other servo operators to court.
As part of the settlement, Coles Express did not admit guilt and will not have to pay the competition watchdog’s legal costs.
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Informed Choices provides regular petrol pricing updates to service stations.
The competition watchdog alleges the price comparison platform decreases competition between servos and, as a result, consumers may be paying more for petrol.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement he welcomed the news that Coles Express will cease using the Informed Sources service.
“I welcome and appreciate the decision of Coles Express to cease using the Informed Sources information sharing service at the earliest available opportunity, and without the need to go to a court hearing,” Sims said.
“The ACCC considers this to be an extremely positive step towards increasing competition in the petrol market, and is pleased to see this independent initiative by Coles Express.”
A spokesperson for Coles told SmartCompany Coles Express will cease using Informed Sources when its current contract inspires in April 2016.
“Coles Express operates in the highly competitive convenience and fuel market where a multitude of companies compete,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“In the interests of avoiding a prolonged court process regarding the use of Brisbane-based fuel price monitoring company Informed Sources, Coles Express has agreed with the ACCC to resolve all proceedings.
“Coles Express will continue to offer its customers great quality, service and value in the convenience and fuel sector.”
The ACCC is still in negotiations with BP, Caltex, Woolworths and 7-Eleven regarding the Federal Court proceedings.
The matter is listed for trial in February next year.