Koch Receives Excuse Note from Antitrust Case
Months after an arbitrator awarded American Central Gas
Technologies Co. $8.3 million in a ruling that Union Pacific
Resources (UPR) and Duke Energy Field Services (DEFS) had
monopolized natural gas processing in Panola County, TX, the
companies are at it again, this time in an East Texas district
courtroom (see NGI, Aug. 14, 2000).
Moments before the antitrust case was to begin on Wednesday,
Koch Industries - a named defendant in the suit - reached a
settlement agreement with American Central for an undisclosed
amount. With Koch now out of the picture, the lawsuit is carrying
on with the remaining defendants, UPR, which is now a subsidiary of
Anadarko, and DEFS.
"Koch has reached an amicable settlement with American Central
Gas Co. out of court," said a source close to the case. "Koch
Industries is no longer part of the proceedings."
American Central Gas claimed in its lawsuit that its profits
were damaged because Koch and UPR did not engage in competition
against each other. Duke is included in the suit because it
purchased UPR's processing facilities in 1999. In American
Central's $17 million lawsuit, the company charged that due to the
collusion between Koch, UPR and Duke, it was prevented from
competing on its own.
The $8.3 million was awarded to American Central Gas in August
for damages related to gas processing, said Teresa Wong, a
spokeswoman with Anadarko. "Our position is that that should have
been the end of it because the judge decided on it. Now they are
going back on two of the three things that were already decided in
arbitration. The judge has agreed to hear evidence on the gas
gathering issue and the injunctive relief issue," said Wong.
"The arbitrator said that there were no damages for gas
gathering, no harm was sustained by American Central and their
gathering business," said Wong. The arbitrator also ruled there
would be no injunctive relief.
"We are going to vigorously defend it, and if we are not
successful, we are going to appeal," she said.
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