SOFIA, May 25 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s competition watchdog has cleared the local arms of Russian oil company Lukoil of abusing their dominant market positions following a 15 month investigation.
The Commission for Protection of Competition launched the probe in February 2016 after complaints from Bulgarians that fuel prices remained high despite a plunge in global oil prices, and a request from Prime Minister Boiko Borisov for the watchdog to make checks on the fuel sector.
The commission said in a statement on Thursday it had not found proof that Lukoil Bulgaria, a key fuel provider and taxpayer in the Balkan country, and the Lukoil Neftochim Burgas oil refinery had abused their dominant market positions.
The watchdog examined Lukoil’s trade relations with its wholesale clients and concluded there had not been any breach of fair competition rules.
It said the decision could be appealed within 14 days.
In March, the commission also cleared six fuel retailers of price fixing after an investigation. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Mark Potter)