Accused of bilking Northwestern Vermont customers of $100 million, four Vermont gasoline distributors settled out of court to pay a mere $1.5 million – with a third of that money going to the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Not much left over for the customers. Were the dealers conspiring to fix high prices, or just offering competitive pricing? And come to think of it - isn’t that what carbon tax-supporting legislators are trying to do – create an artificially high price of gasoline so that the energy industry will benefit?
"The agreement, which must be approved by a judge, includes no admission of wrongdoing, though it requires the companies to abide by written antitrust policies and requires employees who set the price of petroleum products to undergo antitrust training. The defendants are R.L. Vallee, Inc., which owns the Maplefields gas station chain; S.B. Collins, Inc., which owns the Jolley chain; Champlain Farms/Wesco; and Champlain Oil Company, which operates Jiffy Mart-branded stores and was acquired last year by Massachusetts-based Global Partners. Those who owned a car, bought gas from one of the four companies and lived in Chittenden, Franklin or Grand Isle counties between April 2012 and June 2015 are eligible to claim a portion of the funds. A settlement administrator was charged with contacting potential recipients, who can claim a standard amount or provide receipts or credit card statements showing how much gas they bought during the three-year period.
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