The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Energy Transfer Partners, GP, L.P., requesting approval to sell their Heritage Propane Express business to JP Energy Partners, LP. FTC approval of the sale is required by a settlement with the agency, under which the Commission approved the proposed acquisition by AmeriGas Partners, L.P., of the propane assets of Energy Transfer Partners, but only after the parties excluded Heritage Propane Express from their original agreement.
The settlement order resolved FTC charges that the deal, as originally agreed to by the parties, would have reduced competition and raised prices in the market for propane exchange cylinders that consumers use to fuel barbeque grills and patio heaters. Under the order, after the original deal was changed to exclude the Heritage Propane Express business, Energy Transfer Partners was required to obtain the prior approval of the Commission before selling Heritage Propane Express.
According to Energy Transfer Partners’ application, the proposed sale of Heritage Propane Express will satisfy the purposes of the order, and JP Energy will be an effective competitor in the market for propane exchange cylinders. The application states that JP Energy has the resources and industry expertise to ensure that Heritage Propane Express thrives as a competitor.
The Commission will decide whether to approve the sale after the expiration of a public comment period. Public comments on the application may be submitted until May 18, 2012. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments also can be filed electronically. Copies of the application can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File Docket No. C-4346; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press release dated January 11, 2012).
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to [email protected], or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.