The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a petition by DTE Energy Company to reopen and modify the FTC’s 2019 order, which remedied the agency’s concerns that NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC, a natural gas joint venture formerly between DTE Energy Company and Enbridge Inc., would likely harm competition to provide natural gas pipeline transportation in a three-county area of Ohio.
The FTC’s complaint alleged that Nexus’s purchase of Generation Pipeline LLC from North Coast Gas Transmission LLC and several other owners was anticompetitive due to a non-compete clause that kept North Coast from competing to provide natural gas pipeline transportation, for three years after the acquisition closes, in parts of the Ohio counties of Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood. The final order required the parties to remove the non-compete clause from the sales agreement and prohibited Nexus, DTE, and Enbridge from participating in any agreement that restricts competition with another provider of natural gas pipeline transportation in Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood counties.
On July 1, 2021, DTE spun off its non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage, and gathering business to a separate corporate entity, DT Midstream, Inc. As a result of that transaction, DTE exited the three-county area addressed by the FTC order and no longer holds any interest in Nexus or any natural gas pipeline transportation business in the area at issue. Accordingly, DTE requests that it be released from the order. The petition states that DT Midstream has certified its agreement to become a party to the FTC order and comply with all of its obligations.
The FTC will publish DTE’s application in the Federal Register shortly. Instructions for filing comments appear in the published notice. Comments must be received 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Once processed, they will be posted on Regulations.gov. After the comment period closes, the Commission will vote on whether to approve the application.