No collusion. Just profiteering.

From The Globe and Mail:

The federal competition watchdog has ruled that pump prices rose dramatically last year because of low inventories and high crude prices not because of any price-fixing by oil companies.

We found no evidence to suggest a national conspiracy by gasoline companies to co-ordinate price increases, said Sheridan Scott, commissioner of Canada’s Competition Bureau.

The ruling marks the fifth time in the past 15 years that the Competition Bureau has investigated pump prices.

Each probe has come to the conclusion that there was no price-fixing or other anti-competitive activity and that the battle for motorists’ business at the retail level remains intense.

The prices at all gas stations in Ontario rise and fall at the same moment, and there is rarely more than a few tenths of a cent difference between any of them, but let’s assume they’re not colluding.

Maybe we should be investigating gouging, based on the fact that the price will often shoot up by as much as 40 cents per gallon, as it did yesterday. That must be because of the intense competition.

I guess we should be happy that it is only 90 cents a liter. I find it odd though that the price was 96 cents a year ago when the price of oil was much lower. Maybe that was gouging.

I assume that an oil company would not sell gas at a loss. That means that with oil over $50 a barrel, and gasoline prices that two days ago were 80 cents per liter, the oil companies must be able to make a profit based on that 80 cent price. So that extra 10 cents a liter must be a really nice bonus for them.