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BP's Australia petrol deal blocked by watchdog

A man pumps petrol into a car
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Australia's competition watchdog will block BP’s $1.3b (£1.04b) plans to buy a network of local petrol stations from supermarket chain Woolworths.

The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission said Thursday it opposed the deal over fears it would drive up fuel prices.

Last year BP said it would buy, rebrand and operate Woolworths' existing 531 fuel and convenience stores, plus 12 sites under construction.

But competition concerns could scupper the deal.

"The bottom line is that we consider motorists will end up paying more, regardless of where they buy fuel, if this acquisition goes ahead," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.