FTC To Look Into Louisville Petroleum Market

by scrosby on August 11, 2009

The Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission has assured Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway the agency will look into reports compiled by the A-G’s office they claim show possible price gouging at Louisville-area gas stations. Conway launched the investigation last summer, when he said gas prices in Louisville were substantially higher than in cities of comparable size.

He says the petroleum wholesale market in Louisville could be un-fair, since Ashland and Marathon merged in 1998.

“And the FTC has agreed to take a look at all the data we compiled, re-analyze the comparison of the Louisville market to the Chicago market, and doing so with an eye toward the fact that they recognize Kentucky was a state where both Marathon and Ashland had a significant presence before they were allowed to merge, and to see if we have an anti-competitive situation in the Louisville wholesale market,” says Conway.

The FTC completed its own study of the Louisville wholesale market, specifically in light of the Marathon-Ashland merger, and found no evidence of higher retail prices in the area as a result.

Marathon-Ashland spokesperson Angela Graves says they’ll cooperate with the FTC investigation if asked to do so.

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