Arkansas AG clears 4 of 15 Firms of Hurricane Price-Gouging

December 19, 2008

Four of 15 firms subpoenaed in an investigation of possible price-gouging at gas stations as Hurricane Ike approached Texas have been cleared of any wrongdoing, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Dec. 17.

McDaniel issued subpoenas in September seeking information from the companies on what they had paid wholesalers for the gasoline they sold to consumers, for comparison to retail prices so his office could determine if the firms sought excessive profits.

He said at the time that his investigation was prompted by telephone complaints from 1,450 people about suddenly high gas prices, plus more than 2,400 complaints sent by e-mail or text message.

A news release from McDaniel’s office said all 15 companies subpoenaed had responded, but more information and documentation was being sought from most of them.

“However, four parties have provided information and documentation demonstrating that their conduct did not violate the Arkansas Price-Gouging Law or the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” the release said.

He said the four cleared of wrongdoing were 31-38 Grocery in Ward, Circle C Community Grocery in Wooster, A.J.’s Station in Paragould, and Day & Nite Stores Inc., including stores at El Dorado, Hampton, Sheridan, Warren, England, Stephens and Camden.

The four companies have been notified that the investigation of them is closed, the release said.

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