Gas Price Fixing Lawsuit Returns for Another Shot at $5.52b

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
gas price fixing lawsuit returns for another shot at 5 52b

Some two dozen California gas station owners have filed suit in U.S District Court, accusing Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp. and Saudi Refining Inc. of fixing prices. The lawsuit claims executives from the three oil companies formed two [now defunct] joint ventures– Equilon in the west, Motiva in the east– for the express purpose of stiffing stations. Lawyer Joseph M. Alioto contends that from 1999 to 2001 the companies artificially inflated wholesale gas prices by “at least” 20 cents a gallon and possibly as much as 40 cents per gallon. Quoted in The Olympian, Chevron mouthpiece Stephanie Price said been there, done that, watched it get thrown out of court. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a virtually identical case brought by a different group of station owners. If you’re wondering why Alioto’s mob is having another go from a slightly different angle, the brief wants the oil companies to pay 23k franchisees $240k. Each.

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  • VLAD VLAD on Aug 22, 2007

    Land of fruits and nuts.

  • Kevin Kluttz Kevin Kluttz on Aug 23, 2007

    Am I the only one who believes the whole oil industry is fixed?? Bush and Cheney "secured" the oil fields, alright. To the satisfaction of the oil cronies they keep in their pockets. Tripled the price for 'em, didn't they!

  • Whuffo Whuffo on Aug 24, 2007

    Something is definitely wrong in the business. I just got back from a long driving trip - Boulder, CO to San Jose, CA. Across the wide open spaces of Colorado and Wyoming there were dozens of abandoned independent stations along the way. One was open in the middle of nowhere and I needed some gas - it was expensive, and the station looked like it was on its last legs. I wouldn't be surprised to find that this station will be gone in a few months - if they hold out that long. Somebody is making a lot of money - but it's not the gas station owners. I don't know about the true merits of their case, but I don't doubt that there's more than a little truth in their claims.