BP said in a statement on Wednesday that the planned merger of Poland’s two largest refiners PKN Orlen and Grupa Lotos could restrict competition in the east European country.
Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen stated in February that it planned to buy at least a 53% stake in Lotos, mostly from the state. London-based oil and gas group BP has not filed any official complaint with Polish or European Union authority yet, but that might come true in the future, stated a company spokeswoman.
“If this merger were to go ahead, 95% of the (country’s supply and infrastructure) market would be controlled by two companies,” the BP statement said.
“We believe that a competitive market is in the best interest of Polish consumers and that this merger could restrict that competition unless there is a guaranteed competitive cost of supply and infrastructure access.” It stated further.
In the first half of 2018, PKN Orlen owned 1,771 petrol stations in Poland, BP had 537 stations and Lotos 484, according to data from POPiHN, a Polish organisation that provides research into local fuel market.
“We are in a dialogue with the European Commission. According to our analyses, the transaction will not threaten the competition,” said a PKN Orlen spokeswoman.
PKN plans to ask the European Commission later this year for anti-monopoly approval of the deal.