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Italy’s Antitrust Watchdog Raids Eni, Exxon Mobil’s Esso Over Price Hikes

 |  January 16, 2023

On Monday, Italy’s antitrust regulator said it had searched the offices of several oil companies, including Italy’s Eni and Exxon Mobil’s subsidiary ESSO Italiana, over alleged fuel price violations.

The authority, which carried out the inspections with the help of Italy’s tax police, said it was probing irregularities concerning prices being charged at the pump which were higher than those advertised, as well as failures in advertising fuel prices.

Eni, Esso, Italia Petroli, Kuwait Petroleum Italia and Tamoil allegedly failed to adopt appropriate measures “to prevent and counteract this unlawful conduct to the detriment of consumers”, the competition watchdog said in a statement.

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A spokesperson for Eni said the company, which is cooperating with the authority, has acted correctly and “has already taken all contractual or operational measures against any improper behaviour”.

Fuel prices have taken centre stage in Italy after Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s executive dropped a costly reduction in excise duties introduced by the previous government when the price of petrol exceeded 2 euros per litre.