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Paul L. Foster, Western Refining, Inc., and Giant Industries, Inc., In the Matter of

The Commission issued an administrative complaint and initiated federal court action to block Western Refining, Inc.’s $1.4 billion proposed acquisition of rival energy company Giant Industries, Inc. to preserve competition in the supply of bulk light petroleum products, including motor gasoline, diesel fuels, and jet fuels, in northern New Mexico. After a week-long trial, the federal district court denied the Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction, rejecting arguments that Giant had unique opportunities to increase supply and lower fuel prices in northern New Mexico. In October of 2007, the Commission dismissed its administrative complaint, concluding that further prosecution would not be in the public interest.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0610259
Docket Number
9323

American Petroleum Company, Inc.

The Commission charged that a motor oil lubricant importer illegally conspired with its competitors to restrict the importation and sale of these products in Puerto Rico, which resulted in higher prices paid by consumers. According to the FTC’s complaint, during 2005 and 2006, American Petroleum joined with numerous others in the Puerto Rico lubricants industry to lobby for the delay, modification, or repeal of Puerto Rico Law 278, which imposes an environmental recovery fee of 50 cents per quart. With the effective date of the law approaching, the importers adopted a strategy of refusing to import lubricants as a means of forcing a change. The consent order settling the charges bars American Petroleum from conspiring with its competitors to restrict output, refuse to deal, or boycott any lubricant buyer or potential buyer.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
061 0229

TC Group, LLC., Riverstone Holdings LLC, Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund II, LP, and Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund III, LP, In the Matter of

The order settles charges that the proposed $22 billion deal whereby energy transportation, storage, and distribution firm Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) would be taken private by KMI management and a group of investment firms, including private equity funds managed and controlled by The Carlyle Group (Carlyle) and Riverstone Holdings LLC (Riverstone) would threaten competition between KMI and Magellan in eleven metropolitan areas in the Southeast, likely resulting in higher prices for gasoline and other light petroleum products. The order requires that Carlyle’s and Riverstone’s interest in Magellan become a passive investment, by requiring them to: (1) removing all of their representatives from the Magellan Board of Managers and its boards of directors, (2) ceding control of Magellan to its other principal investor, Madison Dearborn Partners, and (3) not influencing or attempting to influence the management or operation of Magellan.
Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0610197
Docket Number
C-4183

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., et al., In the Matter of

Under terms of a consent order, Magellan completed its acquisition of pipelines and terminals in the Midwestern United States and a refined petroleum products terminal in Oklahoma City that supplies light petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel from the Shell Oil Company. The consent order required Magellan to divest the Shell Oklahoma City terminal to a Commission-approved buyer within six months after the transaction is consummated.
Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0410164

Valero, L.P., Valero Energy Corporation, et al., In the Matter of

The consent order permitted Valero L.P. to acquire Kaneb Services LLC and Kaneb Pipe Line Partners subject to the divestitures of assets that will preserve existing competition for petroleum transportation and terminaling in Northern California, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, and avoid a potential increase in bulk gasoline and diesel prices. The order also requires Valero to develop an information firewall and maintain open, non-discriminatory access to two retained Northern California terminals, in order to ensure access to ethanol terminaling in Northern California.
Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0510022
Docket Number
C-4141

Aloha Petroleum, Ltd., et al.

The Commission authorized staff, in conjunction with the Hawaii Attorney General, to seek a preliminary injunction to block Aloha Petroleum’s proposed acquisition of Trustreet Properties. Aloha sought to acquire Trustreet’s half interest in the Barber Point petroleum importing terminal, when Aloha already owned the other half interest. The proposed acquisition would have reduced the number of marketers with ownership or access to a refinery or importing terminal from five to four, and the number of suppliers selling to unintegrated retailers from three to two. After Aloha subsequently announced a long-term agreement with a third party, Mid-Pac Petroleum that would enable Mid-Pac to replace Trustreet as a bulk gasoline supplier, the Commission sought to dismiss its federal court complaint on the ground of changed circumstances.
Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0510131

Chevron Corporation and Unocal Corporation, In the Matter of

Under the terms of the consent orders Chevron and Unocal will cease enforcing Unocal’s patents covering reformulated gasoline that complies with California Air resources Board Standard, will not undertake any new enforcement efforts related to the particular patents, and will cease all attempts to collect damages, royalties, or other payments related to the use of any of the patents. In addition, the companies will dismiss all pending legal actions related to alleged infringement of the patents. According to the complaint, the acquisition of the Unocal patents by Chevron would have facilitated coordinated interaction among downstream refiners and marketers of CARB gasoline.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
051 0125

Union Oil Company of California, In the Matter of

An administrative law judge dismissed a complaint in its entirety against Union Oil of California that charged the company with committing fraud in connection with regulatory proceedings before the California Air Resources Board regarding the development of reformulated gasoline. The judge ruled much of Unocal’s conduct was permissible activity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine and that the resolution of the issues outlined in the complaint would require an in depth analysis of patent law which he believed were not with the jurisdiction of the Commission. In July 2004, the Commission reversed the judge’s ruling and reinstated charges that Unocal illegally acquired monopoly power in the technology market for producing a “summer-time” low-emissions gasoline mandated for sale and use by the CARB for use in the state for up to eight months of the year. While the case was pending before the administrative law judge, Unocal agreed to settle the claims and cease and desist enforcing Unocal’s patents covering reformulated gasoline that complies with California Air resources Board Standard, will not undertake any new enforcement efforts related to the particular patents, and will cease all attempts to collect damages, royalties, or other payments related to the use of any of the patents.  The settlement in this case was related to the settlement of FTC charges that Chevron's acquisition of Unocal would substantially lessen competition in the refining and marketing of CARB reformulated gasoline, as Chevron would acquire the relevant Unocal patents through the acquisition and would be able to use its position to coordinate with its downstream competitors, to the detriment of consumers.  See In the Matter of Chevron Corporation and Unocal Corporation.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0110214
Docket Number
9305
Jan14

Oil Industry Merger Effects

The FTC hosted a public conference to examine two recent studies focusing on the price effects of mergers and concentration in the United States petroleum industry. The conference brought together a...

Buckeye Partners, L.P., and Shell Oil Company, In the Matter of

The consent order settled charges that Buckeye's proposed acquisition of five refined petroleum products pipelines and 24 petroleum products terminals in the United States from Shell Oil Company would reduce competition in the market for the terminaling of gasoline, diesel fuel, and other light petroleum products in the area of Niles, Michigan. Buckeye agreed to notify the Commission before acquiring any interest in the Niles petroleum terminal for a period of ten years.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0410162

Chevron Corporation, and Texaco Inc.

A consent order permitted the $45 billion merger of Chevron and Texaco In., but required significant divestitures in the petroleum industry, including gasoline marketing assets, refining and bulk supply facilities, crude oil pipeline interests and terminaling facilities. Specifically, the Commission alleged that the proposed acquisition would likely substantially reduce competition in each of the following markets: 1) gasoline marketing in the western United States (in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), the southern United States (in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia), in Alaska and Hawaii, and smaller local areas; 2) the marketing of California Air Resources Board (CARB) gasoline in California; 3) the refining and bulk supply of CARB gasoline for sale in California; 4) the refining and bulk supply of gasoline and jet fuel in the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon, west of the Cascade mountains; 5) the bulk supply of Phase II Reformulated Gasoline (RFG II) in metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri; 6) the terminaling of gasoline and other light petroleum products in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson), California (San Diego and Ventura), Mississippi (Collins), and Texas (El Paso), and the Hawaiian islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu; 7) the pipeline transportation of crude oil from California's San Joaquin Valley; 8) the pipeline transportation of crude oil to shore from portions of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; 9) the pipeline transportation of offshore natural gas to shore from locations in the Central Gulf of Mexico; 10) the fractionation of raw mix into natural gas liquids products at Mont Belvieu, Texas; and 11) the marketing and distribution of aviation fuel to customers in the western and southeastern United States.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0110011
Docket Number
C-4023

Valero Energy Corporation and Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation

The consent order permitted Valero to complete its $6 billion merger with Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation, but required the divestiture of Ultramar's Golden Eagle Refinery, bulk gasoline contracts, and 70 Ultramar retail service stations in Northern California to a Commission-approved acquirer. According to the complaint, the merger as originally proposed, would have lessened competition in two refining markets in California resulting in consumers paying more than $150million annually if the price of CARB gasoline increased just one cent per gallon. CARB gasoline meets the specifications of the California Air Resources Board.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
0110141
Docket Number
C-4031
May08

Factors that Affect Prices of Refined Petroleum Products

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This conference, a follow-up to an initial conference on this subject in August 2001, sought to elicit information and views on major factors that affect the price of refined petroleum products and...

Exxon Corporation and Mobil Corporation

A consent order settled antitrust concerns stemming from Exxon's acquisition of Mobil Corporation, but requires the largest retail divestiture in Commission history. The divestitures, representing only a fraction of the worldwide assets of Exxon and Mobil, include 2,431 gas stations; an Exxon refinery in California; a pipeline; and other assets. According to the complaint, the proposed merger would injure competition in moderate concentrated markets -California gasoline refining, marketing and retail sales of gasoline in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Texas; and in the highly concentrated markets for jet turbine oil.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
9910077
Docket Number
C-3907