Michigan attorney general warns against gas gouging

By Halston Herrera, Senior News Editor for ClickOnDetroit.com, @ClickOnHalston, hherrera@wdiv.com
Published On: Jun 11 2013 11:55:49 AM EDT

As Michigan drivers deal with a spike in gas prices, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Tuesday warned retailers against any attempt to take advantage of consumers by 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,” said Schuette. “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.”

Schuette said his office is monitoring wholesale and retail prices and profit margins around the state.

The office investigates any time there is evidence that state law has been violated for gouging or price fixing. 

Under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, a retailer may not charge a price that is “grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.” 

Anti-trust laws also prohibit gas stations from entering into agreements to arbitrarily fix prices in unison.

If consumers become aware of direct evidence of a conspiracy between companies, or have verifiable evidence of a retailer charging a price "grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold," they are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division:

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: 517-373-1140

Toll-free within Michigan: 1-877-765-8388
Fax: 517-241-3771
www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)

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