Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #836

Germany‘s Market Transparency Unit for Fuels: Fostering Collusion or Competition?

by Marco Horvath

RGS, RWI, 12/2019, 18 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-969-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788969

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Abstract

To increase competition in the retail market for gasoline, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office established the
so-called Market Transparency Unit for Fuels (MTU). Drawing on a panel data set covering 6,834 stations
in Germany and employing both fixed effect methods and a difference-in-difference approach, this study
investigates the impact of the MTU on the price margins of gas stations. We find that the MTU fostered a
more intense competition, with a reduction in price margins of 1-2 cents per liter.

JEL-Classification: Q41, D43, D83, L13

Keywords: Retail gasoline; market transparency; price margin; competition

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