FTC to Hold Second Public Conference on the U.S. Oil and Gasoline Industry in May 2002

Will Provide Opportunity for Public Comment and Focus on Factors Affecting the Prices of Refined Petroleum Products

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From May 6-9, 2002, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a second public conference to examine factors that affect prices of refined petroleum products in the United States. The conference, which does not require advance registration, will be open to the public and will be free of charge. It will be held in Room 432 of the FTC Headquarters Building at 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, and all interested parties are invited to attend and/or submit written presentations. A preliminary conference on this subject was held at the FTC on August 2, 2001, and raised issues that merit further examination.

During the four-day conference, the Commission will hear from a wide range of parties - including consumer groups, industry participants, and independent experts - to study in greater depth issues identified at the first conference as worthy of further study. The goal of this conference is to solicit information and views on the major factors affecting the prices of refined petroleum products, along with the relative importance of such factors. The Commission also seeks analytical and empirical papers and public comment to inform this examination.

The Commission anticipates that the information gathered through these public conferences, submissions received, and additional research will provide important insight for those considering review or implementation of public policies regarding the level and volatility of prices of refined petroleum products. The FTC expects to summarize and discuss these insights in a public report to be released later next year, after consideration of materials submitted and issues discussed at the conference.

Written presentations regarding the conference may be submitted to the FTC on or before April 19, 2002, and should be addressed to Donald S. Clark, Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Information on the required submission format is provided in the Federal Register notice.

For further information about attending the conference or submitting written presentations, contact: James Mongoven, Office of Policy and Evaluation, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 390, Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2879; or by e-mail at jmongoven@ftc.gov. A detailed agenda and additional information relating to the conference will be posted on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ftc.gov, in advance of the conference. Supplementary information is also provided in the Federal Register notice, which will be published shortly and will also available on the Commission's Web site.

The Commission vote authorizing publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the conference was 5-0. Copies are available on the FTC's Web site at www.ftc.gov.

The FTC's Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, Electronic Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published "Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws," which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.

(FTC File No. P013919)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
James Mongoven
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2879