Completion of 7-Eleven’s purchase of thousands of gasoline and Speedway convenience stores is potentially illegal and could raise competition concerns in hundreds of local U.S. markets, two senior Federal Trade Commission officials have said. American when a dispute between the agency and the companies had come to light. Friday.
Marathon Petroleum Co (MPC.N), which owned the Speedway chain, and 7-Eleven, owned by Japan’s Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd (3382.T), announced on Friday that they had reached the $ 21 billion deal for 3,800 stores in 36 states.
“The parties closed their transaction at their own risk. The Commission will continue to investigate to determine an appropriate way forward, ”said Acting FTC President Rebecca Slaughter and Rohit Chopra, a commissioner. Both are Democrats.
The two officials said they believed “this transaction was illegal,” and said the commission had failed to reach an agreement with the companies to resolve the antitrust issues.
7-Eleven said in a statement that it was legally authorized to complete the transaction. “Statements or implications to the contrary are false,” the company said.
The company said it reached a deal with FTC staff in late April to sell 293 fuel outlets with a plan to shut down on May 14.
But on May 11, Slaughter and Chopra said they wanted more time, the company said. “7-Eleven took the request very seriously,” he said. “As 7-Eleven was respecting the negotiated settlement agreement, we closed today on time,” he added.
In a separate statement, Marathon Petroleum said that it and “7-Eleven have worked very cooperatively for many months with the FTC and will continue to do so in the future.”
The two Republican FTC commissioners, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, said in a statement that they also believe the deal violates antitrust law.
“Rather than resolve the issues and order divestments (or sue to block the deal), the Acting President and Commissioner Chopra issued a clearly worded statement. Their words do not bind the parties to the merger, leaving consumers with no protection, ”said Phillips and Wilson.
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