The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office announced its investigation found there was no price fixing or any other illegal activity regarding pricing of fuel by Hollister Safeway.
“Under California Law, specifically B&P Code §17043, a business is not allowed to sell products below cost, with the intent to injure competition, under B&P Code § 16720, a business may not enter into an agreement with any other person or business to establish a price of a good or service,” the news release said. “Our investigation revealed that neither code was violated.”
According to the release that was published March 16, the office conducted a consumer protection investigation following complaints in late November about an employee’s explanation about the fuel prices. The District Attorney’s Office said the employee had stated that the pricing was due to a past litigation settlement that required Safeway to price fuel at the community average.
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, regular gasoline prices per gallon in November in California were as follows:
- Week 1 (ending 11/7): $5.228
- Week 2 (ending 11/14): $5.210
- Week 3 (ending 11/21) $5.034
- Week 4 (ending 11/28): $4.813
The release said during the investigation the District’s Office contacted multiple service stations in the area, including Safeway and found no agreements regarding pricing were made that precluded Safeway from any pricing choices permitted by law. It added Safeway said it would remind its staff that the store is free to price their fuel products at any price permitted by law.