Attorney General Suthers Announces Legislation to Lower Prices on Gasoline and Prescription Drugs

DENVER – Attorney General Suthers today announced important consumer protection legislation to amend Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act.

“The essence of a free enterprise system is competition. By amending Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act, we’re putting the consumer and competition first by allowing lower prices on gas and prescription drugs,” said Suthers. “It is time to revisit this antiquated law to bring the concepts of predatory pricing and monopolistic behavior into the 21st century,” said Suthers.

Under the recommended legislation, certain sections of Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act will be repealed and other provisions amended. In addition, the legislation will amend the Act to ensure monopolistic practices are subject to prosecution.

“Make no mistake, efforts to monopolize will not be tolerated,” said Suthers.

Sen. Steve Johnson (R-Larimer) and Rep. Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge) will sponsor the legislation next session.

“This legislation will update a seventy-year-old statute to make it consistent with modern anti-trust laws and economic theory,” said Sen. Steve Johnson. “I’m pleased to work with Attorney General Suthers on this important consumer protection legislation.”

Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act was passed by the legislature in 1937.

“Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act has outlived its original purpose,” said Rep. Cheri Jahn. “Our proposed legislation will allow consumers to benefit from lower prices on gasoline and prescription drugs.”

Last month, a federal court, citing Colorado’s Unfair Practices Act, ruled against Kroger Co. in a decision that ended a program to offer discounts on gasoline. Weeks later, Wal-Mart and Target cited this Act as the reason why they will charge – in some cases over double more than what will be charged in other states – for many generic drugs.

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