Fix problem of slow reaction from petrol firms

It was heartening to read of the Competition Commission of Singapore's (CCS) study into the retail petrol market here ("Wholesale fuel and petrol pump prices aligned: Study"; Feb 24).

However, one fact emerged which raises further questions and needs to be studied further. This pertains to the reaction times among oil companies.

The findings concluded that the oil companies do monitor and react to one another's published prices.

This suggests that if none of them decides to react, then no one will.

It is this lack of reaction, as well as the untimeliness of the reactions, that have led consumers here to have the impression of collusion in the first place.

It would be helpful if the CCS studied how oil companies in other markets, such as the United States, Britain and Australia, react.

Perhaps the CCS should also draw up a set of guidelines on reaction times for oil companies.

Competition should be encouraged, in order to help lower prices.

The CCS report is a step in the right direction. It will send out strong signals to industries that any anti-competitive stance or practice, will not be tolerated.

S. Kumar