Oil companies give me gas

by Jack Locke

Dear Michael Ignatieff,

I have taken your advice and I am Rising Up! I filed my complaint today over what I perceive to be abusive and unlawful gas pump price fixing. If you care to join me in rising up, you can follow the link below and file a complaint.

When federal, provincial, and municipal governments siphon off 25 – 35 percent of the price of a litre of gasoline in taxes, they have a disincentive to keep its price down. And no desire to protect consumers from rapacious oil giants.

In 2005, Canada’s Competition Bureau conducted an empirical study to test whether the large gasoline price increases observed in the spring and summer of 2004 were the results of anti-competitive acts.

“…there is no unusual pricing behaviour in the Canadian gasoline industry that would support a claim of anti-competitive behaviour,” the bureau concluded.

Here’s how they came to that conclusion:

equation
In case you are wondering, “D” stands for dummy. I joke not.
Shell Canada Limited explains the appearance of collusion as merely a well-functioning free market on their website.

“We take this matter very seriously and Shell complies with all federal competition laws. The explanation is simple. At Shell, we are competitive on price at the local level, so what may look like unlawful collusion from a consumer perspective is really a highly competitive market working well,” explains Shell.

I beg to differ, and I have filed a complaint with the competition bureau. Michael, if you or anyone you know would like to file a complaint also, please join me. You can do so online at:

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/frm-eng/GH%C3%89T-7TDNA5
If you wish to read my complaint, please read on….

I hereby file an official complaint against Canada’s 3 largest oil and gas companies(Shell, Esso, and PetroCanada), and possibly other unknown companies that may have participated in an offence under s. 45, and possibly other sections, of the Competition Act.

The complaint concerns the appearance of gasoline prices being fixed contrary to the law. I do not have an explanation for this action that appears to be a gouging of the consumer by companies conspiring.

On April 12, 2011 all gas prices in Montreal increased by approx. $.08/litre by morning. I can understand companies matching prices when one lowers the price, but to do so in unison when one company raises the price is not a competitive action.

The current raising of gas prices at the pumps appears to be occurring in unison, without any valid explanation, and consistent throughout Canada. This, I believe, is NOT coincidental nor driven by need but is also, seemingly, an abuse of market power that has been orchestrated.

Evidence of wrongdoing may be discovered through ascertaining who gave direction to raise the prices prior to April 12, and who gave direction to increase prices on April 12. Such market-wide movement in prices could not likely have been completed without written directives. Such actions I believe are a violation of Canadian law.

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5 Responses to “Oil companies give me gas”

  1. There is “no conspiracy” around high gas prices. « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff) Says:

    […] “We take this matter very seriously and Shell complies with all federal competition laws. The explanation is simple. At Shell, we are competitive on price at the local level, so what may look like unlawful collusion from a consumer perspective is really a highly competitive market working well,” explains Shell.  – jjlocke […]

  2. Why we can’t trust the Competition Bureau « Lockeblog Says:

    […] is what I had called for when I filed a Competition Bureau complaint earlier this week. (see Oil Companies Give Me Gas, Lockeblog, May 17, […]

  3. N. Robinson Says:

    Hi Jacke, Nice to see you “en forme” yesterday evening.

    Speaking of gas companies, why not promote the ZENN cars. I am not sure if we can buy them in Quebec yet, though I think they are made here.

    http://www.zenncars.com/

    Maybe you could write a winning poem for the THE poetry contest while driving around in one – I hear they are quite inspiring.

    Nancy

  4. dave Says:

    What are you writing in the segment of the complaint that deals with who you are filing against?

    • publicpoetry Says:

      I included Shell, Esso, PetroCanada, and ‘other companies’ in the “Details of the Complaint” section. I left the “Company or Person Complained Against” section blank, as there was only room for one.

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