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FTC Investigates ExxonMobil’s $60 Billion Deal for Pioneer Amid Antitrust Concerns

by Anna

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating ExxonMobil’s proposed $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the largest mergers in the energy industry in two decades. The investigation was prompted by concerns about potential anticompetitive effects, and the FTC has requested additional information from the companies involved. This move follows calls from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 22 other Democratic senators for the FTC to scrutinize the Exxon-Pioneer deal and another major acquisition by Chevron.

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The Exxon-Pioneer deal is part of a trend of significant petroleum industry mergers, with Chevron also pursuing a $53 billion purchase of Hess Corporation. The FTC has not publicly indicated any inquiry into the Chevron merger. Schumer expressed satisfaction with the FTC’s decision to investigate the Exxon deal, emphasizing the need to ensure it doesn’t lead to higher prices, hinder competition, or negatively impact consumers.

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The FTC, which enforces federal antitrust laws, has the authority to sue to block a merger or permit the deal to proceed without intervention. Exxon argues that the acquisition of Pioneer Resources would enhance U.S. energy security and benefit the American economy and consumers. Both the Exxon-Pioneer and Chevron-Hess deals require approval from federal regulators.

Environmental groups have criticized the flurry of mergers in the oil industry, expressing concern about potential negative consequences for competition and emissions reduction efforts. Climate Power, an advocacy group, emphasized the need to scrutinize Exxon’s acquisition of Pioneer, suggesting that it could contribute to higher fuel prices and reinforce reliance on fossil fuels.

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