Safeway Inc. has ended a discount promotion at its gas stations nationwide, apparently in response to a legal dispute over a single station in Dixon.
The decision came four months after a judge ordered Safeway to stop selling fuel below cost at its Dixon gas station. California law forbids companies from selling below cost to drive out competitors.
One of Safeway's rivals, a station called Dixon Gas Club, sued the big grocery chain. A judge in May slapped Safeway with a preliminary injunction.
Dixon Gas Club's lawyer, Jim Dombroski, said today that Safeway told him it was discontinuing the program nationwide. He believes the discounts were ended because of the Dixon lawsuit.
"We consider it to be a result of our case," he said.
He said Safeway was offering discounts of 3 cents a gallon, and sometimes more, to Club Card members at its Dixon station. His client, located about a mile away, was losing a lot of business, particularly truck drivers.
Safeway spokesman Keith Turner called the decision "coincidental" and added that Safeway will continue to offer discounts to Club Card members. A new program being rolled out offers discounts of up to $1 a gallon.