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FTC to Approve Exxon’s $64 Billion Deal with Pioneer Resources

 |  May 1, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly set to greenlight ExxonMobil’s $64 billion acquisition of Texas-based petroleum producer Pioneer Resources. However, amidst antitrust concerns, a key executive, Scott Sheffield, is anticipated to be excluded from serving on Exxon’s board.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the FTC’s approval is contingent upon Sheffield, Pioneer’s founder and former CEO, not assuming a position on Exxon’s board. This decision stems from Sheffield’s involvement in a price-fixing lawsuit, where Pioneer and other regional producers face accusations of collusion with OPEC to restrict oil supplies. Although Sheffield has not been implicated in any wrongdoing, the FTC is wary of potential anticompetitive behavior if he were to remain within the company post-acquisition.

Related: Exxon and Enbridge Face Antitrust Lawsuit Over Alleged Market Exclusion Tactics

The allegations of energy price-fixing, though not yet substantiated, hold significant political ramifications. Critics argue that any concrete evidence would undercut Republican claims that President Joe Biden’s energy policies are driving up fuel costs for consumers. However, companies named in the lawsuit, including Pioneer, Diamondback Energy, and Hess Corp., vehemently deny these accusations, asserting their innocence in responding to the class-action claims.

Source: Politico