AmeriGas and Blue Rhino Settle FTC Anti-Competition Charges

By on November 5, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled charges against two leading propane exchange tank suppliers, AmeriGas and Blue Rhino, pertaining to allegations that the companies violated antitrust laws by colluding to effectively increase the wholesale propane prices by reducing tank fill levels at Wal-Mart.  The propane providers allegedly increased the price per unit by reducing the volume of propane in each tank sold to Wal-Mart.

Pursuant to the settlement agreements, AmeriGas and Blue Rhino are precluded from agreeing with competitors to increase, fix or stabilize propane exchange tank prices or modify tank fill levels.

“Simply put, the antitrust laws do not permit private agreements to avoid competition,” said Deborah Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Agreements between competitors to limit any dimension of competition can harm consumers through higher prices or lower quality.”

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