Buc-ee’s in Baldwin County sued for “predatory pricing” on gasoline

Baldwin County
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UPDATE 10:09 AM

This may be one of the few times a lawsuit is good for business.  Travelers passing through Bucee’s were stunned to hear about the lawsuit and argue it’s a unnecessary court battle.

“I think it’s  a joke, I don’t understand that,” said Neena from Bay Minette.  Others argue it’s up to the competitors to meet the challenge of the new gas station.


“Well maybe the other gas station should keep up with them,” said traveler Ron Reese.  For its part, Bucee’s sent us the same statement they sent other news organizations:

Buc-ee’s has always provided our customers with the best experience on the highway,  from the world’s cleanest bathrooms, to great food.  Part of this experience includes high quality fuels, priced fairly and competitively,  and we will always strive to be our customers’ choice in the markets where we operate. Jeff Nadalo General Counsel for Bucee’s.  

While some customers are flummoxed by the fuel fight, an attorney for Oasis says this violation of the law harms consumers in the long term.  

“With the intent and effect of harming competition, not only from a competitor’s standpoint is it unfair, if someone is able to do that, competition will ultimately be reduced then those typically larger price leaders will dictate to the public what the price is going to be for gas,” said attorney for Oasis Dean Mooty.  Mooty says they’re just asking for a court order for Bucee’s to stop selling gas at below cost.  It’s not clear when this case will go before a judge for a hearing.  

ORIGINAL STORY

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala (WKRG) – It’s only been open a few weeks, but what’s believed to be the biggest gas station in Alabama could be facing some big legal troubles. Oasis Travel Center of Robertsdale is suing Buc-ee’s over its gas prices.

Oasis complains Buc-ee’s has been practicing predatory pricing, selling gas for so cheap it’s doing irreparable damage to its competition in the area. This is the first time the chain has opened a location outside the state of Texas. When Buc-ee’s opened, it was selling gas for less than $1.80 per gallon. That was the lowest price by far in Baldwin County. The lawsuit says Buc-ee’s shouldn’t be allowed to sell gas for less than what they are charged by fuel sellers. 

The law in Alabama says that a business cannot sell gasoline for less than cost. The lawsuit claims Buc-ee’s is selling gas for less than it pays for it in order to harm other businesses.

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The behemoth gas station is located at I-10 and the Baldwin Beach Express. It’s the first location outside of Texas for the chain. More locations are expected to open in Alabama and Florida. The store has more than 120 gas pumps and 50,000 square foot of retail space. It has been packed regularly with thousands of customers since it opened in January.

Buc-ee’s sent a statement to the Dallas Morning News which read, “Buc-ee’s has always provided our customers with the best experience on the highway, from the world’s cleanest bathrooms to great food. Part of this experience includes high-quality fuels, priced fairly and competitively.”

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