Buc-ee’s Being Sued for Putting Gas Prices Too Low
Great for the consumer, bad for the competition.
Let's see how well you know your history. I don't, but I do remember the story of John D. Rockefeller. Back in the day at his Standard Oil gas stations, he would lower the price of gas at his gas stations to be lower than the ones around him. Rockefeller could afford to do this, the other gas stations couldn't.
He was actually losing money by selling gas this cheap but was hoping, in the long run, to put the competition out of business. John would later be sued for creating an illegal monopoly. Many gas stations in Alabama are accusing a new Buc-ee's location of doing this same tactic.
A lawsuit has been filed by the Oasis Travel Center in Alabama against Buc-ee's. They claim Buc-ee’s is illegally pricing its gas and it has “already damaged the (competitor’s) business and caused irreparable harm,” according to the lawsuit. This Buc-ee's has only been open a few weeks and is already making the competition very mad.
Buc-ee's has their gas set at $1.89 a gallon at this location. According to Gas Buddy, the average for this area is $2.12 a gallon, so Buc-ee's is definitely cheaper. However, Buc-ee's is actually not the cheapest gas in Alabama, in fact, Buc-ee's is above average. The average cost in Alabama is $1.81 a gallon.
Oasis Travel Center is saying that Buc-ee's is selling gas below cost. The lawsuit states, 'Their illegal practices have cost it sales and gross gasoline margin and threatens to continue to do so if not stopped."
Buc-ee's has released the following statement. "Buc-ee's has always provided our customers with the best experience on the highway, from the world's cleanest bathrooms to great food. Part of this experience includes high-quality fuels, priced fairly and competitively."
We will see what happens with this lawsuit, but I doubt that Buc-ee's is selling gas below cost. I do think Buc-ee's is affecting these local gas stations as with any Buc-ee's opening up. People are going to go there no matter what the price of gas is. We know this in Texas, Alabama it looks like is learning this as well.