Wisconsin gas stations sue competitor for setting gas prices too low

As gas prices reach unprecedented highs around the country, multiple stations are taking severe measures against a rival who is keeping rates low. Newsweek reports, many rival stations in the region near Woodman’s Market in Waukesha, Wisconsin, have filed a complaint against the store, saying that it is selling gasoline below cost, which they argue is a violation of Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act.

Court records show neighboring BP and Shell gas stations are named as plaintiffs in the case against Woodman’s. Both companies are seeking $80,000 in damages, based on the 40 days they allege Woodman’s kept pricing unreasonably low. The average price of a gallon of gas in Wisconsin was roughly $3.93 on Saturday. At the time of writing, Woodman’s has gas for $3.59 per gallon, while prices ranged from $3.89 to $3.99 per gallon at nearby BP and Shell outlets.

In the wake of the lawsuit, Woodman’s has defended their pricing, saying its rates are meant to compete with Costco, which is located six miles away in Pewaukee and is the station’s biggest competitor. According to GasBuddy, Costco in that region is selling gas for $3.49 per gallon. Woodman’s has filed a countersuit, requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed.

Woodman’s lawyers, Eric Meier and Emily Logan Stedman stated in the motion for dismissal, “First, on two dates, the Waukesha Woodman’s sold gas above the statutory price. Second, on the 38 other dates, the Waukesha Woodman’s lawfully set its price of regular, unleaded fuel to match/attempt to match the Pewaukee Costco, which is one of Woodman’s competitors. As a result of the foregoing, Woodman’s is immune from this lawsuit, and the Court should grant Woodman’s motion for summary judgment and dismiss the Gas Stations’ claims entirely.”

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