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Record Prices, Record Oil Company Profits: The Failure Of Antitrust Enforcement To Protect American Energy Consumers

After nearly two decades of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursuing a policy of allowing massive consolidation in the oil and gas industry, the last five years has seen the prices that consumers pay for gasoline, natural gas, heating oil and propane soar. Consequently, industry profits since the beginning of the new millennium are well above historical levels. Now the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the government’s nonpartisan accountant, has taken a look at the FTC’s merger review process. The GAO found that mergers had resulted in price increases.