They are doing something… to crack down on the exorbitant gas hikes/prices at the pumps… and points to another problem with the system… Not sure if this is enough to help our gas prices…
“Criminal charges laid Thursday against 13 people and 11 companies for allegedly fixing gasoline prices in Quebec are the first in Canada since 1955.
Three companies, including Ultramar Ltd., pleaded guilty and were fined a total of $2 million, while a former Ultramar employee received a $50,000 fine.
“I can assure you that the Competition Bureau will not hesitate to take action to stop price fixing in this industry.”
Ultramar, the only major oil company being investigated, was slapped with a $1.85-million fine after acknowledging its role.
“This is one of the top fines that we have been able to attain for domestic cartels,” Scott said.
She stressed there was no evidence that Ultramar’s head office was directly involved in the cartel.
“This is obviously a regrettable situation that we deplore,” Christian Houle, Ultramar motorist sales network vice-president, said in a statement.
The other accused companies are mainly local franchisees operating under the banner of such recognizable brands as Esso and Shell.”
An ongoing investigation into price-fixing at other Canadian fuel-retailer but it’s concluded that it is very difficult to price-fix at the fuel pumps in larger metropolitan cities. It would entail having to be in cahoots with a larger group of people. This comes at a time where Canadians are paying an all time high of $1.35 per litre ($6.14/gallon) – and such a crime will paint the entire industry with a very wide paint brush.
“It’s a very competitive market because of the posted signs … and (retailers) tend to match each other, which is what causes Canadians to think there’s collusion,” Savage said Thursday from Toronto.”
Because here is one interesting fact:
“…if the four cartels had managed to jack up the price of gas by just one cent for an entire year, motorists would be out a collective $2 million. “
The suspected companies face a maximum $10 million in fines under the conspiracy charges, while the individuals face up to five years in jail.