The Economics of Gasoline Retailing: Petroleum Distribution and Retailing Issues in the U. S.

  • Andrew N. Kleit


Gasoline retailing practices in the United States continue to be controversial. This controversy, largely over zone pricing and non-price vertical restraints, occurs in part because integrated refiners use a variety of distribution methods to move their gasoline to the consumer. These different methods can conflict with each other. The use of different retail provisions allows refiners to offer retail outlets across as many markets as possible. Such provisions have been the subjects of antitrust scrutiny, but have not resulted in successful litigation. The reason for the lack of success for antitrust plaintiffs is clear: these actions are not likely to harm consumers.