DoJ: Attorney General Peg Lautenshlager Statement on FTC Investigation of Gas Prices

For More Information Contact:

Kelly Kennedy 608/266-7876

Three weeks ago I joined Attorneys General from Michigan, Missouri, Iowa and
Illinois in writing to the Federal Trade Commission, asking the agency to
investigate whether gas prices were being illegally increased.

I am very pleased the FTC has announced it has agreed to conduct this

On September 1, 2005, we wrote:

… as prices near historically high levels, it is important that we make
sure that no part of the retail price is attributable to conduct that
violates the antitrust or consumer protection laws. For this reason, we join
in the call from the Illinois Attorney General for the FTC to address the
increasing price of gasoline. First, we ask that the FTC make it a top
priority to continually update its local price monitoring study to determine
whether there are any patterns in wholesale and retail gasoline prices in
cities covered by this program which are not explained by crude oil prices
and other relevant market factors and therefore suggest that illegal
activity may be occurring.

As soon as we are notified of any such anomaly, we will stand ready to work
with FTC staff to investigate further.

Second, and consistent with its obligations under the recently enacted
Energy Policy Act, we ask that the FTC investigate to determine whether the
price of gasoline in the upper midwest is being artificially manipulated by
reducing refinery capacity or by any other form of market manipulation in
the supply chain or through price gouging practices.

Wisconsin citizens deserve fair pricing practices for gasoline; our laws
require scrupulous honesty in pricing; and the Wisconsin Department of
Justice stands ready to assist the FTC in assuring justice is served for our