King Mohammed VI has dismissed Morocco’s competition council, which has been entrusted with ruling on the alleged uncompetitive practices used by fuel distributors and decided to set up an ad hoc committee to conduct the necessary investigations to clarify the situation, the Royal Office said in a statement Tuesday.
The ad-hoc commission is to submit to the Monarch a detailed report on the subject as soon as possible, the statement said making it clear that the Competition regulator is removed from the case.
The statement explained that the King received from the President of the Competition Council two reports about potential price pact between fuel distributers and oil companies. The first, sent on July 23, imposes a fine of 9% of the revenue of the three main fuel-distributing companies and a lower rate for the remaining companies. The report stated details about the members’ vote.
The king received a second report on July 28, providing for a fine of 8% on all companies without distinction and without specifying the vote details.
Also on Tuesday, the king received letters from members of the competition council, complaining of procedural dysfunctions. They cited violations by the council’s president that undermined the fairness of the council in addition to lack of communication and the hasty vote without proper examination of the issue at stake. They also accused the president of serving his own agenda.
Given the confusion surrounding this issue and the contradictory versions presented, the King, as the custodian of the independence and credibility of institutions and of their good functioning, decided to set up an ad-hoc committee to carry out the necessary investigations to clarify the situation. The committee is to submit to the Monarch a detailed report on the subject as soon as possible.
The committee is composed of the speakers of the two chambers of the Parliament, the head of the Constitutional Court, the president of the Court of Auditors, the Central Bank Governor, and the head of the anti-corruption body. The Secretary General of the Government has been entrusted with coordinating the committee’s mission.