The nation's two major supermarkets have agreed to take significant steps towards addressing concerns about fuel shopper dockets.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been investigating whether the fuel-saving offers, known as shopper dockets, from Coles and Woolworths have been decreasing competition.The ACCC had been concerned about discounts of 8 cents per litre.A number of independent retailers have said the major supermarkets were creating an unfair playing field because they were able to subsidise fuel discounts from more profitable areas of their businesses.Coles and Woolworths have today agreed to voluntarily stop making fuel-saving offers that are funded by any part of their business other than their fuel retailing arms.They will also limit fuel discounts linked to supermarket purchases to a maximum of 4 cents per litre.ACCC chairman Rod Sims is pleased with the cooperation of the supermarkets."The ACCC's investigation was nearing completion and although we had yet to make a decision in the matter, our investigation had caused us to consider the competition effects arising from the fuel-saving offers," he said."We had focused on the offers by the major supermarket chains of fuel discounts of 8 cents per litre, which were made for sustained periods during 2012 and 2013."We were concerned that those offers could have longer-term effects on the structure of the retail fuel markets and also short-term effects of increasing general pump prices in those markets."We've accepted the undertakings because they address the ACCC's principal competition concerns and allow the matter to be resolved quickly and efficiently."The ACCC says today's move should allow other fuel retailers to compete on a more level playing field.Fuel discounts will still be on offer, says Coles and WoolworthsColes says it will continue to offer 4 cents per litre fuel discounts to "reward our supermarket customers for their loyalty".But Coles managing director Ian McLeod says the company will stop higher fuel discounts to address perceptions that it could adversely affect competition over time."Coles has worked hard to lower both the cost of a weekly shopping basket and provide better value at the fuel pump and we are pleased that the 4-cents-per-litre docket discount will remain in place for our customers," he said. "But Coles has agreed to address the concern that larger discounts could adversely affect competition over time and from January 1, 2014 Coles will no longer offer any fuel discounts above the 4-cents-per-litre to supermarket customers."Woolworths says they will continue to offer fuel discounts throughout the festive season to "give some relief" to consumers."We are disappointed that our customers will no longer be able to benefit from higher discounts from next year," they said in a statement."However, we will provide a range of fuel discounts over the Christmas period to give some relief to our customers at this critical time of year."Woolworths has been offering petrol discounts for more than 16 years, and will continue to do so to deliver value to our customers, particularly when cost of living pressures remain a critical concern."Mr McLeod said fuel retailing was a competitive market with low profit margins and low barriers to entry.He said movements in global oil prices and government taxes continued to be the primary drivers of the retail fuel price.Tom Godfrey from consumer group Choice says the move should translate to cheaper grocers for Coles and Woolworths customers from January 1."Consumers have every right to expect grocery prices will fall at Coles and Woolworths as the supermarket giants reverse the flow of subsidies away from fuel," Mr Godfrey said."Anything less will show the supermarkets are not serious about competition, and expose the so-called 'price wars' as nothing more than advertising slogans."Know more?