Gas Stations Could Face Competition

January 20, 2006

PURCHASING gas on the outskirts of town or at one particular gas station because it is cheaper is not a reality in Costa Rica, where all gas stations offer gas at the same prices. This system could change under a proposal by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP), however.

 

ARESEP has proposed that the country’s 320 gas stations compete in prices, within a certain range. The proposal will be discussed in a public hearing Monday at 9 a.m. at ARESEP.

 

However, this proposal has been strongly rejected by gas station owners, who are threatening to go on strike if the hearing is held, the daily Al Día reported. Meanwhile, gas consumers say they will reap economic benefits if gas stations are forced to compete.

 

Under the plan, ARESEP would establish a maximum and a minimum price, allowing gas stations to offer discounts. The discount would come from gas station profits, which has caused station owners to object.

 

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