FTC Finds Limited Price Gouging After 2005 Hurricanes
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Federal Trade Commission this week released a report that cited more than a dozen cases of gasoline price gouging after hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year. However, the commission's report concluded there was no industrywide effort to manipulate the market, and most instances of high prices were explainable, the Los Angeles Times reported. Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, called the report "a vindication of the refining industry's activities in a very abnormal situation," the Times reported. But some legislators and consumer groups criticized the FTC's nine-month-long investigation, arguing the commission missed an opportunity to uncover problems in the country's volatile fuel market. The report cited 15 instances of price gouging involving seven refiners, two wholesalers and six retailers. The report didn't identify the companies involved.