November 10, 2005

FTC Launches Major Investigation of Big Oil

According to CNN, the FTC has launched a major investigation into Big Oil's manipulation of gas prices:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission has sent subpoenas to Big Oil companies in its investigation of gasoline price manipulation and oil refining capacity constraints, and hopes to complete the probe next spring, the agency's head told a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The agency sent out "dozens of subpoenas" to companies, including oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, and the U.S. units of BP Plc. (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc., FTC Chairwoman Deborah Majoras said.

She spoke following a hearing on energy profits held by the Senate's energy and commerce committees. "It is a major investigation."

I am sure that I am not the only person to say "about time".

I am a big fan of capitalism, and I believe that every company is entitled to turn a profit. However, the last few months have revealed to me that the outrageously high gas prices are, in fact, something more than a response to low refining capacity....such as, possible anti-trust violations, price gouging, price fixing, etc.
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