WASHINGTON – Convenience store chain 7-Eleven announced on Friday it had made a $ 21 billion gainisSpeedway convenience stores of Marathon Petroleum Corp., amid the dismay of US antitrust authorities who disagreed on this to make a transaction they all said they believed was anti-competitive.
7-Eleven, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Seven & I Holdings Co., entered into an agreement with Marathon last August, which adds approximately 3,800 Speedway stores in 36 states to its business. 7-Eleven said the transaction allowed it to expand its footprint and diversify its presence in 47 of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States.
7-ELEVEN LOOKING FOR 20,000 WORKERS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
The timing of the acquisition was unusual as Democrats and Republicans in the Federal Trade Commission each said they had reason to believe the transaction was illegal, although both sides, in dueling statements, reported that there was no consensus, at least not yet, on how to address these concerns.
7-Eleven in a statement said it had negotiated a settlement with FTC staff members and believed it had struck a deal to resolve competition concerns by divesting 293 stores, whose buyers have been approved and blessed by the FTC investigators.
Such agreements have yet to be officially approved by the commission.
“7-Eleven will continue to work with them to ensure that 7-Eleven meets its obligations under the negotiated settlement,” the company said. “We hope that the Commission will approve the negotiated settlement agreement in the short term. “
|SVNDY||SEVEN & I HOLDINGS||22,61||+0,35||+ 1,57%|
|MPC||MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP||60,08||+1,28||+ 2,18%|
Acting President Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Rohit Chopra, both Democrats, said they believe the transaction “is illegal” and raises “significant competitive concerns in hundreds of local retail markets across the country. gasoline and diesel across the country ”.
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The FTC, they said, “has spent significant resources investigating this transaction but has yet to come to an agreement with the parties and a majority of the commission that would fully resolve the competition concerns. The decision of Seven and Marathon to conclude under these circumstances is highly unusual, and we are extremely troubled by it. “
The two Republicans on the commission, Commissioners Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, also said they believed the companies had hundreds of overlapping gasoline and convenience stores and combining them in some markets “would violate the laws. antitrust ”.
“There is no good reason for the commission to be in this mess,” they said in a joint statement, referring to the FTC’s inability to finalize a decision. Republicans said they “had received no information to suggest that the parties had not worked constructively with staff to negotiate a speedy and effective resolution.”
Neither statement clarified what exactly had prevented the FTC from making a decision on how to proceed.
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The FTC is a five-member body, one seat of which is currently vacant. President Biden has appointed Lina Khan, a big-tech critic who promotes aggressive antitrust enforcement, to fill it. The committee needs the support of the majority for any course of action.
Companies normally wait for a resolution with the US antitrust authorities before completing their transactions, but the government does not have unlimited time to make up its mind.
Even if the deal went through, the companies and the FTC could still potentially reach a settlement. The commission also always has the option to challenge the acquisition if it wishes, although the government typically disputes mergers before they are finalized.