Stricter rules for corporations: Lindner advocates tightening of antitrust law

The tank discount has little effect and prices are rising.

Stricter rules for corporations: Lindner advocates tightening of antitrust law

The tank discount has little effect and prices are rising. In order to rein in energy companies in the future, Federal Economics Minister Habeck wants to tighten antitrust law. Federal Finance Minister Lindner supports the proposal - but he rejects any other measure.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner supports the plans of Economics Minister Robert Habeck to react to the high fuel prices despite the so-called tank discount by tightening antitrust law. "It's good that Robert Habeck has now picked up this ball," said Lindnerin to the ARD "Tagesthemen". It is the task of the cartel office to check how exactly the fuel prices are composed.

Habeck wants to use the tightened antitrust law to break up the company if necessary. In addition, it should be easier to siphon off illegal profits. This is essentially what a position paper by the Federal Ministry of Economics envisages. So far, such an approach has been subject to high hurdles. "A right that cannot be used is not in the interests of the inventor," said Habeck. The Economics Ministry now wants to bring forward the revision of the law against restraints of competition to this year. Concrete proposals will be made in the coming weeks.

Before that, dissatisfaction with the limited effect of the fuel price brake had grown in the opposition, but also in the traffic light coalition itself. After the drop in price as a result of the tax cut on Wednesday last week, fuel had become significantly more expensive again. Numerous top politicians unanimously called on Habeck, the responsible minister, to take action against the mineral oil companies. The accusation: the companies put at least part of the tax reduction in their own pockets. The industry itself once again referred to rising procurement costs. That eats up the tax relief.

However, it can be assumed that prices would be significantly higher without the three-month reduction in energy tax on fuels, emphasized Lindner. He rejected plans for a so-called excess profit tax, such as those already introduced in Great Britain and Italy. This would then also have to apply to vaccine producers, for example, who would have benefited from the corona pandemic, said the FDP leader. "If you now differentiate, with a kind of 'excess profit tax' for sectors that are not so popular with us, then that opens the floodgates to arbitrariness," said Lindner. This cannot be done with him.

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