State AG: Circumstances Not A Free Pass For Gas Price Gouging

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has issued a warning about possible gasoline price gouging — as oil production in the Gulf of Mexico could be shut down for an extended period due to Hurricane Isaac.

In a news release Tuesday, Schuette warned that higher gas prices are likely, but circumstances “are not a free pass for price gouging.”

According to GasBuddy.com gas prices in metro Detroit are ranging from $3.89 to $4.09 Tuesday.

The Consumer Protection Act prohibits retailers from charging 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.

The attorney general’s office monitors retail profit margins and the actual cost of providing gasoline to consumers.

Five Detroit area gas station owners were convicted last year in a price-fixing scheme.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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