Tuesday, May 23, 2006

FTC on Price Gouging

This news story from today's Washington Post will not surprise many economists:
The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it found no evidence that the oil industry manipulated gasoline prices in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and that 15 instances that fit a definition of price gouging set by Congress last year could be explained by market conditions.
Nor will they will be surprised by the response from some of our nation's politicians:

Members of Congress promised tough questions for FTC officials due to testify at a Senate hearing today....

"Our evidence and common sense suggest a vastly different picture of unconscionable profiteering by Big Oil," said Connecticut's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal has reached price-gouging settlements with eight gasoline retail stations this year. "The FTC has barely found the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Click here for a previous post on the topic.