Today Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Rohit Chopra issued the following statement in response to the announcement by 7-Eleven’s parent company that it had pressed forward in its merger agreement with Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the agency’s ongoing investigation:
“Today, Seven & i Holdings, the Tokyo-based owner of 7-Eleven, announced that it closed a $21 billion transaction with Marathon Petroleum Corporation, purchasing roughly 3,900 Speedway retail gasoline and convenience store businesses from Marathon.
“We have reason to believe that this transaction is illegal under Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, raising significant competitive concerns in hundreds of local retail gasoline and diesel fuel markets across the country. In many local markets, the transaction is either a merger-to-monopoly or reduces the number of competitors from three to two. With the support of a majority of Commissioners, the Commission can and routinely does challenge these harmful mergers.
“The Commission has spent significant resources investigating this transaction but has not yet come to an agreement with the parties and a majority of the Commission that would fully resolve the competitive concerns. Seven and Marathon’s decision to close under these circumstances is highly unusual, and we are extremely troubled by it.