FTC Seeks Public Comment on ConocoPhillips' Application to Modify Final Commission Order and to Approve Amended Licensing Agreements with Holly Corp.

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application filed by ConocoPhillips to modify a final FTC order that settled the FTC’s competition concerns arising from Conoco Inc.’s 2002 merger with Phillips Petroleum Company.

As described in the application, the Commission’s order required ConocoPhillips to sell to Holly Corp. the Woods Cross, Utah petroleum refinery, and to enter into a 10-year exclusive license allowing Holly to use “Phillips,” “Phillips 66,” and related brands at retail gasoline stations in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. ConocoPhillips sold the Woods Cross refinery to Holly in compliance with the FTC order, and the current agreements between ConocoPhillips and Holly include the required exclusive rights.

According to the application, ConocoPhillips and Holly have negotiated an Amended Agreement that extends the license agreements for seven years, and in that context Holly has determined it does not need the exclusive rights in Wyoming and Montana for the two years remaining in the current license. Accordingly, ConocoPhillips is requesting that the Commission approve the amended agreement, and modify the order to match the terms of the new agreement with Holly by removing the exclusivity requirement in Wyoming and Montana. Holly supports the application.

The FTC is accepting public comments on the application until July 27, 2011, after which it will decide whether to modify the order and approve the license modifications. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, Annex E, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To file a comment electronically, click here and follow the instructions. Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 021-0040, Docket No. C-4058; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2536; see press release dated August 30, 2002.)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(FYI 29.2011.wpd)

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