FTC requires Marathon to sell stores to avoid antitrust problems

The Federal Trade Commission is requiring Marathon to sell five New York convenience stores to settle charges that its proposed acquisition of Express Mart would violate federal antitrust laws.

Marathon is the parent company of Speedway, headquartered in Enon. The News-Sun reported earlier this year that Marathon acquired 78 stores held by Petr-All Petroleum Consulting Corporation under the Express Mart brand. The company plans to convert the stores to the Speedway brand. Speedway is the second largest company-owned convenience store chain in the U.S.

Information from the FTC shows the federal agency raised concerns Marathon’s acquisition would harm competition in five of the markets where the company is acquiring stores. They include Farmington, Fayetteville, Johnson City, Rochester, and Whitney Point.

“In three of the five retail diesel markets, the proposed acquisition would result in a merger to monopoly,” the FTC said in a news release. “In the fourth, the proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors from three to two. In the fifth, the proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors from four to three.”

Information from the FTC shows Marathon will be required to sell the stores in those locations to Sunoco within 90 days after the acquisition is completed and maintain competitiveness as those transactions move forward.

The News-Sun reached out to officials from Marathon, but the company has not yet commented on the issue.

The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days continuing through Nov. 26, according to the FTC. At that point the commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.

Speedway operated about 2,800 stores before its acquisition of Andeavor, a Texas-based refining firm. Speedway is a major employer in Clark County and now operates about 3,900 convenience stores across the U.S., according to information from the company.


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