SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge has scheduled a seven-day hearing next month on the government's attempt to block BP Amoco's $30 billion acquisition of fellow oil giant Atlantic Richfield Co.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston set the hearing to start the week of March 20, 10 days later than her previous schedule. She will decide later this month whether to consolidate the case with suits by the states of California, Oregon and Washington, also opposing the merger, and whether to let Alaska enter the case on the oil companies' side.
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the merger, arguing that it would give the new company virtual control of Alaska crude oil supplies to West Coast refineries. Increased prices would be the likely result, the FTC contends.
The companies say the merger would encourage oil production and would have no effect on oil prices controlled by the international market.
The state of Alaska argues that any concerns about competition should be satisfied with the two companies' agreement to sell some of their Alaska oil holdings, reducing their combined share of the state's oil production from 70 to 55 percent.
The merger of London-based BP Amoco with Los Angeles-based Atlantic Richfield would create the second largest non-government oil company, behind Exxon Mobil.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.