UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BEFORE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
- Robert Pitofsky, Chairman
- Sheila F. Anthony
- Mozelle W. Thompson
- Orson Swindle
In the Matter of
The Williams Companies, Inc., a corporation.
DOCKET NO. C-3817
DECISION AND ORDER
The Federal Trade Commission (Commission), having initiated an
investigation of the proposed acquisition of the voting securities of MAPCO Inc.
(MAPCO) by The Williams Companies, Inc. (Williams), and it now
appearing that Williams, hereinafter sometimes referred to as Respondent,
having been furnished with a copy of a draft complaint that the Bureau of Competition
proposed to present to the Commission for its consideration and which, if issued by the
Commission, would charge Respondent with violations of Section 5 of the Federal Trade
Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended,
15 U.S.C. § 18; and
Respondent, its attorneys, and counsel for the Commission having thereafter executed an
agreement containing a consent order, an admission by Respondent of all the jurisdictional
facts set forth in the aforesaid draft of complaint, a statement that the signing of said
agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by
Respondent that the law has been violated as alleged in such complaint, and waivers and
other provisions as required by the Commissions Rules; and
The Commission having thereafter considered the matter and having determined that it
had reason to believe that the Respondent has violated the said Acts, and that complaint
should issue stating its charges in that respect, and having thereupon accepted the
executed consent agreement and placed such agreement on the public record for a period of
sixty (60) days, now in further conformity with the procedure prescribed in Section 2.34
of its Rules, the Commission hereby issues its complaint, makes the following
jurisdictional findings and enters the following Order:
- Respondent Williams is a corporation organized, existing and doing business under and by
virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware, with its office and principal place of
business located at One Williams Center, Tulsa, OK 74172.
- The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this proceeding
and of the Respondent, and the proceeding is in the public interest.
IT IS ORDERED that, as used in this Order, the following definitions shall
- A. Williams means The Williams Companies, Inc., its directors, officers,
employees, agents, representatives, predecessors, successors, and assigns; its joint
ventures, subsidiaries, divisions, groups and affiliates controlled by The Williams
Companies, Inc., and the respective directors, officers, employees, agents,
representatives, successors, and assigns of each.
- B. MAPCO means MAPCO Inc., its directors, officers, employees, agents,
representatives, predecessors, successors, and assigns; its joint ventures, subsidiaries,
divisions, groups and affiliates controlled by MAPCO Inc., and the respective directors,
officers, employees, agents, representatives, successors, and assigns of each.
- C. Commission means the Federal Trade Commission.
- D. Competing Pipeline means any existing, planned or proposed pipeline owned
or operated by anyone other than Williams or MAPCO that transports, or is intended to
transport, Raw Mix from Gas Processing Plants in Wyoming, directly or indirectly, to any
Fractionation Plant located in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico or Texas.
- E. Connection Agreement means an agreement between Williams or MAPCO and a
Competing Pipeline that provides for, among other things, the connection of a pipeline and
the associated installation of valves, measurement apparatus, flanges and other devices
necessary to deliver Raw Mix from a Williams Wyoming Gas Processing Plant to a Competing
Pipeline and to measure the volume of such Raw Mix.
- F. Fractionation Plant means a facility that separates Raw Mix into its
- G. Gas Processing Plant means any facility that separates Raw Mix from
- H. Kinder Morgan means Kinder Morgan Operating L.P., its directors,
officers, employees, agents, representatives, predecessors, successors, and assigns; its
subsidiaries, divisions, groups and affiliates controlled, directly or indirectly, by
Kinder Morgan, and the respective directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives,
successors, and assigns of each.
- I. KM Agreement means the Pipeline Lease and Operating Agreement between
Kinder Morgan and Williams, dated March 3, 1998, and attached hereto as Confidential
- J. KM Terminals means the propane terminals owned or operated by Kinder
Morgan at Des Moines, Clear Lake and Iowa City, Iowa and Tampico and Rockford, Illinois,
and all tangible and intangible assets used in operating said terminals, that receive, or
that can receive, propane in whole or in part from the Williams NGL System.
- K. Propane means a colorless paraffinic hydrocarbon product with a chemical
formula of C3H8 that is derived either as a by-product of petroleum refining or from
natural gas processing, and that can be used for heating, cooking, agricultural crop
drying, as a petrochemical feedstock, and for other applications.
- L. Proposed Acquisition means the proposed acquisition of the voting
securities of MAPCO by Williams.
- M. Raw Mix means a mixture of natural gas liquids, consisting of at least
two or more of the following components: propane, ethane, butanes, and pentanes-plus.
- N. Respondent means Williams.
- O. Terminaling means all services performed by a facility that provides
temporary storage of propane received from a pipeline and the redelivery of propane from
storage facilities into transport or tanker trucks.
- P. Williams NGL System means the assets owned by Williams comprising the
following pipeline segments: Plattsburg, Missouri to Des Moines, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa to
Clear Lake, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa to Iowa City, Iowa; and Iowa City to Clinton,
Iowa/Middlebury Junction, Illinois.
- Q. "Williams Wyoming Gas Processing Plant" means any Gas Processing Plant
owned or operated, in whole or in part, by Williams or MAPCO in the State of Wyoming,
including plants located at or near Opal and Echo Springs, Wyoming.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. Respondent shall comply with the KM Agreement, including, but not limited to, the
provision of pipeline capacity to Kinder Morgan to service the KM Terminals pursuant to
the terms and conditions of the KM Agreement.
- B. Respondent shall not cancel the KM Agreement for any reason except pursuant to the
provisions of Paragraph 4.5 thereof. If Respondent determines to cancel the KM Agreement
pursuant to such provisions, Respondent shall provide the Commission with at least ninety
(90) days prior written notice of such cancellation. At the time of such notice,
Respondent shall designate, subject to the approval of the Commission, a proposed
successor to Kinder Morgan's rights and interests under the KM Agreement. If no successor
in interest has been approved by the time of such cancellation, the Commission may appoint
a trustee pursuant to Paragraph V. of this Order.
- C. Notwithstanding Section 16.1 of the KM Agreement, if Kinder Morgan sells any of the
KM Terminals, Respondent shall, not later than thirty (30) days after such sale, enter
into a pipeline capacity lease and operating agreement with the acquirer of such KM
Terminals that is substantially identical to the KM Agreement with respect to such
terminals, and consistent with the purpose of this Order. Respondent shall provide a copy
of such agreement to the Commission not less than ten (10) days prior to its execution.
- D. Until the date at which all of Respondent's obligations under the KM Agreement
expire, Respondent shall not, without prior approval of the Commission, make or agree to
any modifications with respect to any term or terms of the KM Agreement.
- E. Respondent shall provide to the Commission, no later than thirty (30) days after
their receipt or transmittal, copies of all communications between Kinder Morgan, or its
successor in interest, and Respondent regarding changes in or alleged breaches of the KM
- F. The purpose of this Paragraph II. of this Order is to ensure Kinder Morgans
access to pipeline capacity, as set forth in the KM Agreement, to prevent the elimination
of Kinder Morgan as a competitor in the transportation and terminaling of propane at the
KM Terminals, and to remedy the lessening of competition in the transportation and
terminaling of propane in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota resulting from the
acquisition as alleged in the Commission's complaint.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of a written request from a Competing Pipeline,
Respondent shall enter into a Connection Agreement for the connection of such Competing
Pipeline to each Williams Wyoming Gas Processing Plant. The terms and conditions of such
Connection Agreement shall be the terms customarily used by such Competing Pipeline to
connect to other Gas Processing Plants. If the Respondent and a Competing Pipeline are
unable to agree on the terms and conditions of a Connection Agreement, the Competing
Pipeline may elect to cause the issue to be submitted to outside, independent, binding
arbitration in accordance with the procedures in Exhibit B hereto. Respondent shall
provide the Commission with a copy of each written request from a Competing Pipeline
within ten (10) days after Respondent receives such request.
- B. Respondent shall connect each Williams Wyoming Gas Processing Plant that is the
subject of a Connection Agreement to a Competing Pipeline under the terms and conditions
established by such Connection Agreement. All steps necessary to effectuate such
connection shall be accomplished by Respondent within 180 days after the execution of such
- C. From the date on which the agreement is signed until the earlier of (a) three days
after the Commission rejects this agreement or (b) 120 days after the date this Order
becomes final, Respondent shall not enter into any new or renewed agreement to process
natural gas at any Williams Wyoming Gas Processing Plant pursuant to which the producer or
seller of natural gas gives up its right, for a term of more than one year, to sell or
otherwise dispose of its Raw Mix.
- D. The purpose of this Paragraph III. of this Order is to ensure that the acquisition
does not reduce the likelihood that a Competing Pipeline may be constructed to service Gas
Processing Plants in Southwestern Wyoming.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. Respondent shall immediately notify the Commission of the initiation of any
arbitration proceedings, agreements, or changes in agreements, involving any of the
matters in this Order.
- B. Judgment upon the decision rendered by any arbitrator(s) pursuant to this Order or
pursuant to any agreements entered into pursuant to this Order may be entered in any court
having jurisdiction thereof. The decision of the arbitrator, after confirmation by the
court pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §1, et seq., or succeeding
statutory provisions, shall be final and binding upon the parties, and the failure of
Respondent thereafter to abide by the arbitrator's decision shall be a violation of this
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. If Respondent has not selected a successor to Kinder Morgans rights and
interests under the KM Agreement as required by Paragraph II.B. of the Order, the
Commission may appoint a trustee (or trustees) to select a successor and to lease the
Williams NGL System, subject to the prior approval of the Commission. If the trustee does
not select a successor to Kinder Morgans rights and interests under the KM
Agreement, then the trustee may divest the Williams NGL System. Such divestiture shall be
at no minimum price, to an acquirer that receives the prior approval of the Commission,
and in a manner that receives the prior approval of the Commission.
- B. In the event that the Commission or the Attorney General brings an action pursuant to
§ 5(l) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(l), or any
other statute enforced by the Commission, Respondent shall consent to the appointment of a
trustee in such action. Neither the appointment of a trustee nor a decision not to appoint
a trustee under this Paragraph shall preclude the Commission or the Attorney General from
seeking civil penalties or any other relief available to it, including a court-appointed
trustee, pursuant to § 5(l) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, or any other
statute enforced by the Commission, for any failure by the Respondent to comply with this
- C. If a trustee is appointed by the Commission or a court pursuant to the terms of this
Order, Respondent shall consent to the following terms and conditions regarding the
trustee's powers, duties, authority, and responsibilities:
- The Commission shall appoint a trustee, subject to the consent of Respondent, which
consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. The trustee shall be a person with experience
and expertise in leasing, acquisitions and divestitures. If Respondent has not opposed, in
writing, including the reasons for opposing, the selection of the proposed trustee, within
ten (10) days after notice by the staff of the Commission to Respondent of the identity of
the proposed trustee, Respondent shall be deemed to have consented to the selection of the
- Subject to the prior approval of the Commission, the trustee shall have the exclusive
power and authority to lease or divest the assets as described in Paragraph V.A. of this
Order. Such sale or lease, if it occurs prior to January 1, 2001, shall require that the
lessee or buyer shall, for each year for five (5) years from the date of lease or sale,
dedicate to the transportation of propane an amount of capacity equivalent to the average
annual throughput of propane during the previous five-year period on that portion of the
pipeline extending from Plattsburg Junction, Missouri, to Des Moines, Iowa.
- Within ten (10) days after appointment of the trustee, Respondent shall execute a trust
agreement that, subject to the prior approval of the Commission and, in the case of a
court-appointed trustee, of the court, transfers to the trustee all rights and powers
necessary to permit the trustee to lease or divest the assets as described in Paragraph
V.A. of this Order.
- The trustee shall have twelve (12) months from the date the Commission approves the
trust agreement described in Paragraph V.C.3. to effectuate Paragraph V.A. of this Order,
which shall be subject to the prior approval of the Commission. If, however, at the end of
the twelve-month period, the trustee has submitted a plan of how the trustee intends to
effectuate Paragraph V.A. of this Order or believes that compliance can be achieved within
a reasonable time, this period may be extended by the Commission, or, in the case of a
court-appointed trustee, by the court; provided, however, the Commission may extend this
period only two (2) times.
- The trustee shall have full and complete access to the personnel, books, records and
facilities related to the assets involved or to any other relevant information, as the
trustee may request. Respondent shall develop such financial or other information as such
trustee may request and shall cooperate with the trustee. Respondent shall take no action
to interfere with or impede the trustee's accomplishment of the lease or divestiture. Any
delays in the lease or divestiture caused by Respondent shall extend the time for leasing
or divestiture under this Paragraph in an amount equal to the delay, as determined by the
Commission or, for a court-appointed trustee, by the court.
- The trustee shall use his or her best efforts to negotiate the most favorable price and
terms available in each contract that is submitted to the Commission, subject to
Respondent's absolute and unconditional obligation to lease or divest expeditiously at no
minimum price. The transactions shall be made in the manner and to the acquirer or
acquirers as set out in Paragraph II. of this Order, provided, however, if the trustee
receives bona fide offers from more than one acquiring entity, and if the Commission
determines to approve more than one such acquiring entity, the trustee shall lease or
divest to the acquiring entity or entities selected by Respondent from among those
approved by the Commission.
- The trustee shall serve, without bond or other security, at the cost and expense of
Respondent, on such reasonable and customary terms and conditions as the Commission or a
court may set. The trustee shall have the authority to employ, at the cost and expense of
Respondent, such consultants, accountants, attorneys, investment bankers, business
brokers, appraisers, and other representatives and assistants as are necessary to carry
out the trustee's duties and responsibilities. The trustee shall account for all monies
derived from the leases or divestitures and all expenses incurred. After approval by the
Commission and, in the case of a court- appointed trustee, by the court, of the account of
the trustee, including fees for his or her services, all remaining monies shall be paid at
the direction of the Respondent, and the trustee's power shall be terminated. The
trustee's compensation shall be based at least in significant part on a commission
arrangement contingent on the trustee's leasing or divesting the assets to be leased or
- Respondent shall indemnify the trustee and hold the trustee harmless against any losses,
claims, damages, liabilities, or expenses arising out of, or in connection with, the
performance of the trustee's duties, including all reasonable fees of counsel and other
expenses incurred in connection with the preparation for, or defense of any claim, whether
or not resulting in any liability, except to the extent that such liabilities, losses,
damages, claims, or expenses result from misfeasance, gross negligence, willful or wanton
acts, or bad faith by the trustee.
- If the trustee ceases to act or fails to act diligently, a substitute trustee shall be
appointed in the same manner as provided in Paragraph V.A. of this Order.
- The Commission or, in the case of a court-appointed trustee, the court, may on its own
initiative or at the request of the trustee issue such additional orders or directions as
may be necessary or appropriate to accomplish the divestitures required by this Order.
- Except as otherwise provided in this Order, the trustee shall have no obligation or
authority to operate or maintain the assets to be leased or divested.
- The trustee shall report in writing to Respondent and the Commission every sixty (60)
days concerning the trustee's efforts to accomplish the leases or divestitures.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for a period of ten (10) years from the date this
Order becomes final, Respondent shall not, without providing advance written notification
to the Commission, directly or indirectly, through subsidiaries, partnerships, joint
ventures, or otherwise:
- A. Acquire any stock, share capital, equity, partnership, membership or other interest
in any concern, corporate or non-corporate, engaged, at the time of such acquisition or
within the year preceding such acquisition, in providing terminaling or pipeline
transportation for propane located in Iowa or in any contiguous states within seventy (70)
miles of the Iowa border; or
- B. Acquire any assets used or previously used (and still suitable for use) for
terminaling or pipeline transportation of propane in Iowa or in any contiguous states
within seventy (70) miles of the Iowa border.
Said notification shall be given on the Notification and Report Form set forth in the
Appendix to Part 803 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as amended
(hereinafter referred to as the Notification), and shall be prepared and
transmitted in accordance with the requirements of that part, except that no filing fee
will be required for any such notification, notification shall be filed with the Secretary
of the Commission, notification need not be made to the United States Department of
Justice, and notification is required only of Respondent and not of any other party to the
transaction. Respondent shall provide the Notification to the Commission at least thirty
(30) days prior to consummating the transaction (hereinafter referred to as the
first waiting period). If, within the first waiting period, representatives of
the Commission make a written request for additional information or documentary material
(within the meaning of 16 C.F.R. § 803.20), Respondent shall not consummate the
transaction until twenty (20) days after submitting such additional information or
documentary material. Early termination of the waiting periods in this Paragraph may be
requested and, where appropriate, granted by letter from the Bureau of Competition.
Provided, however, that prior notification shall not be required by this Paragraph for a
transaction for which notification is required to be made, and has been made, pursuant to
Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18a.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. Within sixty (60) days after the date this Order becomes final and every sixty (60)
days thereafter until Respondent has fully complied with the provisions of Paragraph
III.C. of this Order, Respondent shall submit to the Commission a verified written report
setting forth in detail the manner and form in which it intends to comply, is complying,
and has complied with Paragraph III.C. of this Order. Respondent shall include in its
compliance reports, among other things that are required from time to time, a full
description of the efforts being made to comply with Paragraph III.C. of this Order,
including a description of all substantive contacts or negotiations for the leases or
divestitures and the identity of all parties contacted. Respondent shall include in its
compliance reports copies of all written communications to and from such parties, all
internal memoranda, and all reports and recommendations concerning leases or divestitures.
- B. One (1) year from the date this Order becomes final, annually for the next nine (9)
years on the anniversary of the date this Order becomes final, and at other times as the
Commission may require, Respondent shall file a verified written report with the
Commission setting forth in detail the manner and form in which it has complied and is
complying with each provision of this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
- A. Respondent shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any
proposed change in the corporate Respondent such as dissolution, assignment, sale
resulting in the emergence of a successor corporation, or the creation or dissolution of
subsidiaries or any other change in the corporation that may affect compliance obligations
arising out of the Order.
- B. Upon consummation of the acquisition, Respondent shall cause the merged entity to be
bound by the terms of this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for the purpose of determining or securing
compliance with this Order, upon written request, Respondent shall permit any duly
authorized representative of the Commission:
- A. Access, during office hours and in the presence of counsel, to all facilities and
access to inspect and copy all books, ledgers, accounts, correspondence, memoranda and
other records and documents in the possession or under the control of Respondent relating
to any matters contained in this Order; and
- B. Upon five days' notice to Respondent and without restraint or interference from it,
to interview officers, directors, or employees of Respondent.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall terminate on June 17, 2018.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark
ISSUED: June 17, 1998
[Confidential Exhibits A and B redacted from public