At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking Western Refining, Inc.’s proposed $1.4 billion acquisition of rival energy company Giant Industries, Inc., pending the completion of a preliminary injunction hearing.
On April 10, 2007, the Commission approved a complaint challenging the acquisition and authorized Commission staff to seek a preliminary injunction in federal district court to block the proposed transaction should such an injunction become necessary to preserve the Commission’s ability to obtain effective relief upon resolution of an administrative trial.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction under Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), to enjoin the proposed acquisition. The federal district court complaint alleges that the acquisition would lead to reduced competition and higher prices for the bulk supply of light petroleum products, including gasoline, to northern New Mexico, an area of the country where the companies are direct and significant competitors.
In granting the Commission’s request for a TRO, the judge enjoined the transaction pending the resolution of the hearing on the preliminary injunction. The date of that hearing has not yet been set.
NOTE: The Commission issues or files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the named parties have violated the law.
Copies of the complaint are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, Electronic Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published “Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws,” which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.
(FTC File No.: 061-0259; Civ. No. 07cv352 JH/ACT)