LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette warned gas retailers Tuesday against any attempt to take advantage of consumers by price fixing or price gouging.
Michigan drivers are dealing with a rise in gas prices and Schuette's office monitors the balance of wholesale prices, retail prices and profit margins in and around Michigan. Schuette's office also takes complaints about individual gas stations and looks into any evidence of violations of price gouging or price fixing.
"Michigan consumers are struggling with rising costs just as summer vacations are getting underway, making it hard on family budgets," Schuette said. "We will not tolerate unscrupulous behavior that violates Michigan law when it comes to gouging and price fixing. Gas retailers are warned: we are watching and will not hesitate to take action if you hurt consumers and break Michigan law."
Under the terms of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, retailers may not charge prices that are grossly in excess of the price at which similar services or property are sold. Antitrust laws prohibit gas stations from making agreements to arbitrarily fix prices in unison.
In 2012, Schuette secured convictions against five Michigan gas station owners for gasoline price fixing. Schuette's office also entered into compliance agreements with stations that require them to submit to monitoring after they raised prices above the statewide norm on a particular day or after a weather event.
Schuette's office is committed to the battle against higher gasoline prices in court if the price increases are in violation of the law.