The Federal Trade Commission required ARKO Corp. and its subsidiary GPM to roll back anticompetitive provisions of their acquisition of 60 Express Stop retail fuel outlets from Corrigan Oil Company last year. The complaint alleged that as originally proposed, the agreement not to compete that ARKO and GPM required Corrigan to sign as part of the acquisition harmed customers in local retail gasoline and retail diesel fuel markets throughout Michigan and Ohio. The order required them to amend a non-compete agreement they imposed on Corrigan, agree to obtain prior approval from the Commission before acquiring retail fuel assets under certain circumstances, and return to Corrigan five retail fuel outlets, among other provisions.
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Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson in the Matter of Buckeye Partners/Magellan Midstream Partners
The Federal Trade Commission required energy pipeline and storage companies Buckeye Partners, L.P. and Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. to divest to U.S. Venture, Inc. petroleum terminals in the two states as a condition of Buckeye’s $435 million proposed acquisition of 26 Magellan terminals. The complaint alleged that without a remedy, the acquisition would harm competition for terminaling services both for all LPPs, and for gasoline specifically, in North Augusta, South Carolina; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama. The complaint alleged that in all three geographic markets, the acquisition would eliminate the close competition between Buckeye and Magellan, increase the likelihood of collusive or coordinated interaction between the remaining competitors, reduce the number of terminaling options for third-party customers, and increase prices for terminaling services.
The Federal Trade Commission will require the divestiture of energy producer EP Energy Corp.’s entire business and assets in Utah. The divestiture will resolve the agency’s allegations that EnCap Energy Capital Fund XI, L.P.’s proposed $1.445 billion acquisition of EP Energy Corp. would eliminate head-to-head competition between two of only four significant producers and otherwise harm competition for the sale of Uinta Basin waxy crude oil to Salt Lake City refiners. According to the complaint, the proposed acquisition could also increase the likelihood of collusion or coordination among the remaining competitors in the Uinta Basin.
Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson on the Closing of the 7-Eleven and Marathon Transaction
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.
FTC Seeks Public Comment on Par Petroleum Corp.’s Application to Modify Agreement to Store Petroleum Products at Barbers Point Terminal in Hawaii
Oil refiner Tesoro Corporation and one of its subsidiaries agreed to sell their light petroleum products terminal in Boise, Idaho to settle charges that their $335 million acquisition of pipeline and terminal assets from Chevron Corporation would be anticompetitive. Without the divestitures required by the FTC, the deal would have given Tesoro ownership of two of the three full service light petroleum terminals in Boise, significantly reducing competition for local terminal services. The proposed order requires Tesoro to sell the terminal it currently owns in Boise to an FTC-approved buyer within six months of when the order becomes final.
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