World Business: Gas War Casualty

Britain trails only the U.S. and Canada as a gasoline consumer, a fact that should delight its 13 major oil companies. It does not. In trying to set up the new service stations they need in order to compete, the companies are running into soaring land prices, a tangle of zoning laws and the threat of government control over the number of stations they can own. Dozens of small independents have sprung up to plague the majors, buying gas cheaply from Continental refineries and then undercutting prices. Britain has been witnessing a cutthroat gas...

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