Gas stations in Rio de Janeiro may be practicing cartel

By ETCO
30/05/2012

Source: Jornal do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro - RJ) - 19/05/2012

The reporting team of Newspapers in Brazil he visited gas stations in Rio de Janeiro this Saturday morning and could see that the price charged for fuels in the city varied little, which may characterize a possible cartel formation. The situation in the capital of Rio de Janeiro also occurs in other regions of the country. In April of this year, the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) reported that it had filed a lawsuit with the Public Ministry of the Federal District after a survey carried out by the regulatory body between January 2010 and March 2011 pointed out that 90% of the stations sold a liter of oil. fuel alcohol at R $ 2,84. With regard to gasoline, the practice was even more evident: in all establishments the price was between R $ 2,94 and R $ 2,95.

The lack of competitiveness is extremely harmful to the consumer, who is often forced to pay an expense incompatible with his budget. According to experts, fuel costs should not exceed 15% of family income. This, however, is not always possible, according to general services assistant Roberto Barbosa, resident of Piedade, in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro.

“It's complicated for anyone, like me, who needs to use the car every day. You have nowhere else to run. I know I spend a lot more than I could, but I have no option. What could I do? Stop working? ”He asks indignantly.

Newspapers in Brazil sought the Union of Retail Trade in Fuels, Lubricants and Convenience Stores of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro (SINDCOMB-RIO), but did not receive an answer. The team was also unable to contact the ANP and the Rio de Janeiro Public Ministry.

Tampering also worries

According to data from the ANP, 11 out of every 100 stations inspected eleven had irregular fuel. The most common practice is the presence of solvent in gasoline, which can cause loss of engine power, increased consumption, in addition to drying and accelerated corrosion of the plastic and rubber components of the vehicle's engine. 

In May, the owners of Autoposto e Garagem Vila Iguatemi Ltda, in Vila Isabel, were ordered to pay around R $ 172 for collective moral damages and to publish, in at least three newspapers of great circulation in Rio, notices calling on consumers that can prove the damage caused by adulterated gasoline to be compensated.

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