SEATTLE - November 30,1999 - Washington State Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed a consent decree requiring Exxon to sell the interest Mobil owns in the Trans Alaskan Pipeline system once a merger between the two companies is approved.
The consent decree was filed in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission's announcement that it has preliminarily approved the merger today.
"Our main concern is to make sure the cost of shipping crude oil through the Alaskan pipeline remains competitive and gas prices stay affordable for our consumers," said Gregoire.
Alaska, Oregon and California joined Washington in the filing, which requires Exxon to sell Mobil's 3.08 percent interest in the pipeline, including the storage tank capacity at Valdez, within nine months of the filing date. The sale of retail stations is not a factor in the consent decree because the stations in Washington are independently owned. The FTC and nine other states also filed similar actions.
Exxon announced its intention to buy Mobil for approximately $73.7 billion in December 1998. Since then the FTC and states, including Washington, have been involved in extensive investigations and negotiations to make sure the proposal is in compliance with federal and state antitrust laws.
Under the agreement, Exxon will reimburse Washington approximately $70,000 in legal costs and fees.