After Alaska's governor balked at a move by BP Amoco to push
consideration of its ARCO acquisition through the Federal Trade
Commission, the company has backed off and pledged to address the
state's anti-competitive concerns. Discussions between the company
and Alaska were ongoing last week.
"Our goal from the very beginning has been to achieve an
agreement that is satisfactory to this state and to allow the
public participation period in Alaska to run prior to seeking final
review and approval of the ARCO acquisition from the FTC," said
Anchorage-based BP Amoco spokesman Ronnie Chappell.
Last Monday, Gov. Tony Knowles broke off state negotiations with
the company and asked the FTC to temporarily block the $26 billion
merger after learning BP Amoco had filed certificates of
substantial completion with the commission. The BP Amoco filing
started the clock on a 20-day deadline within which the FTC would
either have to approve the deal or sue to block it. BP Amoco has
since stopped the clock on the 20-day time limit. Even if it's
approved by the FTC, Alaska can still sue to block the deal in
federal court; however, FTC approval would diminish the state's
"The BP Amoco acquisition in its present form creates
competitive concerns that, left un-addressed, would violate both
federal and state antitrust law," Knowles wrote in his letter to
FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky. "I urge the Federal Trade Commission
to seek to enjoin the acquisition unless BP Amoco lifts the
deadline they have instigated. Only with the lifting of the
deadline can meaningful negotiations proceed."
Alaska began negotiations with BP Amoco in September to
determine whether an agreement on creating a competitive
environment is possible. In a September speech in Anchorage,
Knowles outlined what the state seeks from BP Amoco. He said
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