2018 Energy and Chemicals Antitrust Report
Produced by the firm’s nationally recognized antitrust practice, the Vinson & Elkins Energy and Chemicals Antitrust Report provides a comprehensive analysis of antitrust developments specific to the energy and chemical industries. The Report also provides merger enforcement data over the last decade specific to these industries.
The U.S. antitrust agencies remained extremely active enforcing mergers and acquisitions in the energy and chemical industries in 2018 while private antitrust litigation directed at energy and chemical companies continued apace, according to Vinson & Elkins’ 2018 Energy and Chemicals Antitrust Report. The FTC successfully challenged two chemical industry mergers in federal court, while the DOJ obtained a record $9 billion divestiture package in another combination. The Report found that the antitrust agencies closely scrutinized mergers in the energy and chemical industries even when they did not result in enforcement actions. In 2018, a record 31% of the agencies’ in-depth second request investigations covered these industries.
With respect to private antitrust litigation, plaintiffs continue to bring claims alleging that energy traders engaged in market manipulation through trading activities or reporting, particularly where traders have influence over industry benchmark or index prices. Plaintiffs also accused energy firms in capacity-constrained markets of conspiring to withhold or withdraw production at times of increased demand. In addition, the courts continue to work through cases in which plaintiffs contend that exploration and production companies colluded to rig bids or depress prices in the pursuit of oil and gas leasehold or mineral estates.
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This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.