Part 2 Consents
Texas-based energy company Par Petroleum Corporation agreed to terminate its storage and throughput rights at a key gasoline terminal in Hawaii, to settle FTC charges that Par’s proposed $107 million acquisition of Koko’oha Investments, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary Mid Pac Petroleum, LLC would likely be anticompetitive. According to the FTC’s complaint, the proposed merger would reduce competition and lead to higher prices for bulk supply of Hawaii-grade gasoline blendstock, ultimately increasing the price of gasoline for Hawaii consumers. As a result of the proposed acquisition, Par gained Mid Pac’s rights to Aloha’s Barbers Point terminal, which it does not need for importation because it produces its own blendstock, but which it could exercise in a manner that impairs Aloha’s use of its terminal. If Par were to hamper Aloha’s import capability, it would weaken Aloha’s ability to negotiate lower bulk supply prices from Par and Chevron, and thus reduce Aloha’s ability to compete effectively in the bulk supply market. Potential new competitors would be unable to deter or counteract the anticompetitive effects resulting from the acquisition, according to the complaint. The consent agreement requires Par to terminate the Barbers Point terminal storage and throughput rights it acquires from Mid Pac within five days after the merger is completed. Par will retain rights to load a limited number of tanker trucks at the Barbers Point terminal, and must obtain prior FTC approval to modify these rights or enter into any new agreement at the Barbers Point terminal. In January 2020, the FTC sought public comment on Par’s application to modify the agreement to store petroleum products at Barbers Point terminal.