(INDIANAPOLIS)(WISH) - A big convenience store chain will take over one of its smaller competitors - and that may not be a good thing for consumers.
Speedway is buying the Gas America company that's based in Greenfield. The takeover of Gas America will add 88 stores to the nearly 14,000 in the Speedway system.
The deal will be completed in May.
An analyst for GasBuddy.com said the deal is likely to lead to higher prices in central Indiana.
He calls it "the Speedway Effect."
"So the Speedway Effect is essentially leadership or pricing control in these markets," Patrick DeHaan explained. "Speedway tends to be a very competitive chain. And their strategy is simply that they are the first to move in either direction."
Shane Pochard, a spokesman for Speedway, said he's not aware of the pricing practices used by competitors. He said Speedway analyzes different factors and then sets the best price possible.
Pochard also refused to speculate on the gas prices we're likely to pay in this summer's driving season.
"If we did, we'd probably be wrong most of the time," he said. "There's so many different factors that influence the price of gas."
DeHaan, on the other hand, said the relatively low prices we're enjoying now will probably be with us until March or April. Then, when the industry shifts to summer gasoline, we "may see a real unpleasant spike."
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