WASHINGTON—Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pause its antitrust review of the Speedway sale to Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. until the agency has time to interpret, integrate and employ the antitrust legislation currently making its way through Congress. In Hoffa’s letter to the FTC, he also requested the agency ensure that all competitive effects from the transaction have been fully considered and remedied.
Legislation introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, “seeks to strengthen antitrust enforcement and to reverse the willingness of some courts to impede effective enforcement. The bill returns coordinated effects to the center of merger analysis; does away with unrealistic requirements that the agencies prove competitive effects to a near certainty; and, emphasizes the importance of examining and preventing exclusionary conduct. In this case, it is our belief that the anticompetitive effects of the proposed transaction would not be remedied by selected divestitures of stores in local markets,” Hoffa wrote in the letter.
The Teamsters also took issue with the terms of the sale, including the 15-year supply agreement between 7-Eleven and Marathon. “Effectively, this agreement duplicates vertical integration—minus any efficiencies—and thus may provide an incentive for Marathon to raise wholesale prices to competing retailers. With gas prices now on a steep rise to nearly $3 a gallon in most states, the FTC should exercise its full authority to ensure that the Marathon/7-Eleven supply agreement will neither limit competitors’ ability to buy fuel nor stick customers with sky-high costs to refill their gas tanks to get to and from work and school,” Hoffa added.
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