Lawsuit Accuses QuikTrip of Predatory Pricing

quiktrip.jpg
QuikTrip was accused before of price cutting.
You love their corndogs, taquitos and bathtub-sized fountain drinks. And the cheap gas isn't bad, either. But is QuikTrip's low-priced petrol illegally inexpensive? That's what a lawsuit filed last week in federal court contends. 

Members of the Association of Independent Gas-Station Owners claim that QuikTrip began a "price war" on July 1 (that continues today) in which the Tulsa-based chain has priced its gasoline below cost.

"The predatory price war engaged in by QuikTrip has caused injury to competition in the retail sale of gasoline in the St. Louis marketplace, which will ultimately cause harm to consumers in the form of higher gasoline prices dictated by QuikTrip," writes plaintiffs' attorney Eric Vickers. 

The lawsuit further alleges that QuikTrip violates the Robinson-Patman Act that prohibits predatory price cutting and the Sherman Act that regulates monopolies. It notes, too, that the Missouri Attorney General filed a similar suit against QuikTrip in 1999. QuikTrip lost that case in the Circuit Court, but ultimately prevailed when the case reached the Missouri Supreme Court and justices threw out the lower court's ruling. 

"The circuit court's decision is premised on the theory that QuikTrip's sales of motor fuels below cost apparently diminished the competitor's profits," wrote the Supreme Court in its 2004 opinion. "This is not sufficient to make a viable claim for unfairly diverting trade or causing "injury" to a competitor. The state's claim is, thus, unsupported by evidence of unfair diversion of trade or of injury to a competitor."

QuikTrip has yet to respond to the latest allegations. 

In September, Vickers filed another lawsuit representing "Go West Mart" (one of the stations involved in the recent QuikTrip complaint) in which the owner of the north St. Louis gas station sued the city over plans to build a Love's truck stop next door that he claimed would hurt his business.   
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7 comments
Gillooly
Gillooly

Defense Exhibit A is the QT at Dunn Rd & New Halls Ferry, which is rarely the cheapest gas on the block.

7-ELEVEn MIKE
7-ELEVEn MIKE

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW IN ANY STATE TO SELL GASOLINE BELOW COST BECAUSE IT HURTS OTHER STATION OWNERS AND PROFITS. ITS JUST LIKE PRICE GOUGING. ITS AGAINST THE LAW TOO. QUIK TRIP NEEDS TO BE HEAVILY FIND OR SHUT DOWN. THEY PUT TO MANY STATIONS OUT OF BUSINESS. BEFORE THEY CAME TO ST. LOUIS GAS STATIONS MADE MONEY ON  GAS.

Happy_Happy_Happy_90
Happy_Happy_Happy_90

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KITTY
KITTY

Cry me a river. Disgraced and formerly disbarred attorney Eric Vickers has filed a another frivolous lawsuit. This is America for God's sakes. Capitalism and competion rule. Any merchant has the right to price their products as the see fit. So what if Quick Trip sells their gas cheaper than their competitors? Pricing products below cost is called a "loss leader": Loss leader is a product sold at a low price, or below price to stimulate other profitable sales. This has been a marketing ploy for generations. The independent gas station owners are just pissed off because a competitor is doing a better job at marketing its products.

Ga
Ga

fined*

Crossdriller
Crossdriller

Are you serious? If you had a gas station or you had a business of your own, you would not be saying this. Gasoline is a commodity, prices change daily for independents based off the rack price. QT does not buy on the same market. But they price based on the Rack price to squeeze others out of the market. Missouri has a below cost selling law on the books. QT violates this law when ever they feel like it. It takes money to sue big companies like QT. Most small business owners do not have the means to do so. Most give up. You feel that just because you have deep pockets you should be able to sell a product below cost to put the competition out? QT can compete by doing it better, but not by selling below cost. When in business, you must make profits to survive. Loss leaders are a few items that you designate to draw customers in, you make very little, or even lose money on. Gasoline is 90% of the total sales in a gas station. It is not a loss leader. Gasoline is a different side of the business. No other business is like it. Convenience store to convenience store is one thing, but when your customers make the decision to come into your facility based on price of your gas, that's wrong. All gasoline should be regulated, and at a set margin. The playing field when it come to a commodity must be equal. QT makes a ton of money on gasoline. You just don't know what they pay for it. And, in addition, they do not have to pay the taxes on gasoline up front, like independents have too. You the hell are you? Just another typical consumer who knows nothing about the gas business. QT gets to hold 40 cents a gallon for 60 days before paying the prepaid tax. How much money do you think that is?

You have no clue. Really I don't give a shit what you think.

Get into the gas station business and you will find out very quickly.

Eric Vickers took the money of those dealers. He is not a good atty. That I agree with you on. But, there are good attorneys out there, and what QT has done, and continues, to do, will come Back to bite them in the ass. Soon!

Guest
Guest

Oh wait, I'm sorry....FINED*

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