So the petrol retailers are up in arms because supermarkets are undercutting them.  They think it’s unfair competition and have appealed to the Office of Fair Trading.  Ah bless!  Am I the only one who doesn’t feel overly sorry for them? 

Perhaps now they know how the owners of small, independent local shops feel when the big supermarkets take their customers.  Or the farmers who end up being paid less per litre of milk than it costs to produce it.  Why should the Office of Fair Trading step in to protect petrol companies and not everyone else affected by powerful supermarkets?

Like it or not, consumers in this country tend to be influenced by price over many other considerations.  And, unlike many small local traders, I very much doubt the petrol retailers can count on any kind of brand loyalty from a moral or ethical point of view.  Perhaps our only real concern should be how the supermarkets are achieving such low petrol prices – presumably by cutting their costs elsewhere.  Does this mean they are paying their food suppliers even less than before?

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