Law Prevents Discount Gas Here

Tulsa, OK – Walmart not offering gas discount in Oklahoma

(Information in the following story is from: Tulsa World,

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A 62-year-old Oklahoma law likely is preventing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from offering discounted gas as it's doing in 18 other states.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company has said it's cutting gas prices by 10 cents per gallon for three months to help consumers worried about their spending amid a sputtering economy.

But Oklahoma's Unfair Sales Act, passed in 1949, prohibits selling merchandise at deep discounts. Walmart spokeswoman Tara Raddohl didn't specifically cite that law but told the Tulsa World gas stations in Oklahoma don't qualify for the gas-price reduction program "due to state restrictions."

The 1949 law requires retailers to mark up merchandise by at least 6 percent. The law is intended to protect locally owned businesses from large retailers that offer items priced at a deep discount to lure customers.