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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Tri Star Energy, LLC’s proposed acquisition of certain assets from Hollingsworth Oil Company, Inc., C & H Properties, and Ronald L. Hollingsworth (collectively, “Hollingsworth”) would violate federal antitrust law.

Tri Star, a Nashville, Tennessee-based energy company, operates fuel outlets and convenience stores in four states, including Tennessee.

Hollingsworth, based in Springfield, Tennessee, also operates fuel outlets and convenience stores throughout middle Tennessee. 

According to the complaint, which was first announced in June, the proposed acquisition would harm competition for both retail gasoline and retail diesel in two local markets: Whites Creek, Tennessee and Greenbrier, Tennessee. In each of these markets, the acquisition would result in a merger to monopoly for the retail sale of gasoline and diesel.

Under the terms of the proposed consent order, Tri Star is required to divest to Cox Oil Company, Inc. retail fuel assets in Whites Creek and Greenbrier within 10 days after completing the acquisition. Tri Star and Hollingsworth would be required to maintain the competitiveness of the divestiture assets during the divestiture process. 

The Commission vote to approve the final order was 3-0-2. Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Christine S. Wilson did not participate.  

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Ashley Masters
Bureau of Competition