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And, yes, I DO take it personally: When profiteers send gas prices soaring in Germany, all they have to do is press a button
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Thursday, April 05, 2012

When profiteers send gas prices soaring in Germany, all they have to do is press a button

what a concept...

from spiegel online...

Big Oil's Strategy for Jacking Up Gas Prices

Prices have never fluctuated as wildly as they have over the past few months. Last week, the price of premium gasoline reached €1.70 per liter ($8.41 per gallon) nationwide -- a new record for Germany. Sometimes, prices at the pump spike upwards by over 10 euro cents per liter in the space of just minutes, usually followed by a gradual decline.


The price fluctuations are erratic and apparently without any deeper meaning. But there's no doubt that the oil companies know exactly what they are doing.

The market leaders can only pursue this strategy, though, because they have sophisticated computer systems that allow them to precisely control, right down to the minute, when they increase their prices nationwide, and by how many cents. The prices are not set by the individual franchise holders. Instead, they are centrally controlled -- for example, in the town of Bochum, at headquarters of Aral, a BP subsidiary that is the market leader in Germany.

The price manager merely presses a button and price signs immediately change at all 2,391 Aral service stations in Germany. All filling stations are electronically linked with Bochum via a dedicated network called Rosi. After each price increase, they watch closely to see how the competition reacts and whether they follow suit.

coming soon to a u.s. service station near you...

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