ExxonMobil Gas Station Owners Sue Over Unjust Fuel Prices, Rent

…claims ExxonMobil Corp. manipulates fuel quantity and delivery times to gas stations in such a way where there is insufficient supply and raises the price of gas at the pumps. Franchise owners are only allowed to purchase gas from ExxonMobil. Their complaint also says the corporation divides New Jersey into 100 zones and charges each zone a different price for the same quality and grade of fuel. They also say that despite the declining real estate market, ExxonMobil has significantly raised rent prices.

http://www.wpix.com
December 10, 2009

ExxonMobil Gas Station Owners Sue Over Unjust Fuel Prices, Rent
Shelley Ng

Video

FORT LEE, N.J. (WPIX) - The United Dealers New Jersey, comprised of over 100 ExxonMobil gas station owners and operators in New Jersey, is scheduled to hold a protest Thursday morning to accompany their lawsuit against the oil company. Franchise owners claim they are forced to overpay for gasoline and rent.

The protest is set for 9 a.m. at Exxon on the Run, which is located at 1175 Palisade Avenue in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The organization hopes their lawsuit will help reduce gas prices in New Jersey, and that customers will join their rally against ExxonMobil Corp.'s business tactics.

On Wednesday, the group filed their lawsuit in Newark federal court and claims ExxonMobil Corp. manipulates fuel quantity and delivery times to gas stations in such a way where there is insufficient supply and raises the price of gas at the pumps. Franchise owners are only allowed to purchase gas from ExxonMobil.

Their complaint also says the corporation divides New Jersey into 100 zones and charges each zone a different price for the same quality and grade of fuel.

They also say that despite the declining real estate market, ExxonMobil has significantly raised rent prices.

The suit claims the company has violated the Robinson-Patman Act, the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act and New Jersey State's Unfair Motor Fuels Practices Act.

The United Dealers New Jersey seeks compensation for punitive damages and a court order to end zone pricing.

"Exxon Mobil sets its wholesale price on a number of factors that are designed to allow our dealers to compete with competitors in their local trade area. Competitive conditions change rapidly, affecting price differences from one area to another and from one day to another," said ExxonMobil spokesman Kevin Allexon in an e-mail statement to Bloomberg.

He said the corporation will defend itelf against the lawsuit.

Copyright © 2009, WPIX-TV

http://www.wpix.com/news/local/wpix-exxon-gas-station-lawsuit,0,1506676.story


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