Gas stations enter agreements over price gouging complaints

Keith Loria Jun. 29, 2009, 10:11am

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced that 11 gas stations in the state have entered into compliance agreements over accusations of price gauging.

The 11 Michigan gas stations were being accused of drastic price increases-ranging from $4.99 to $5.39-after Hurricane Ike's 2008 landfall near major domestic oil processing facilities in Texas.

After complaints came in following the Sept. 12, 2008, hurricane, the attorney general's office began an investigation into alleged price gauging and investigated 16 stations. The attorney general's office demanded that 11 of stations enter into compliance agreements as a result of their questionable pricing practices.

"These actions should send a warning that gouging will not be tolerated," the Republican attorney general said. "Drivers can be assured that our office is monitoring gas prices and looking out for them everyday."

Filed in Ingham County Circuit Court this week, the compliance agreements require the stations to promptly provide documentation at the request of the attorney general's office to verify unusual price spikes; cease any practice of raising prices in response to consumer apprehension unless such increases can be justified by billing records; and, in some cases, pay fines equivalent to identifiable profits gained by stations from Ike's landfall.

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