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US: Valero enters antitrust battle with California AG over terminal purchase

 |  July 13, 2017

San Antonio-based refining company Valero Energy is facing an anti-trust battle with the California Attorney General’s Office over plans to buy storage terminals in the Bay Area.

The California Attorney General’s Office filed a sealed antitrust lawsuit on June 30 against Valero, Valero Energy Partners and Plains All American Pipeline. Filed at San Fransisco’s federal courthouse, public documents in the case started to appear earlier this week.

Officials with the California Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment. Valero officials confirmed in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is attempting to block the company’s plans to buy two petroleum storage and distribution terminals owned by Plains in Martinez and Richmond, California.

Valero owns a refinery in the Bay Area city of Benecia and is seeking to expand its capacity in Martinez and Richmond. At the same time, Valero asserts that it does not compete with Plains anywhere in California.

Earlier this week, US District Court Judge William Alsup issued an order denying the California Attorney General Office’s motion for a temporary restraining order to block the proposed transaction.

Vowing to defend the transaction in court, Valero CEO Joe Gorder and Plains CEO Greg Armstrong stated that they were disappointed by the California Attorney General Office’s actions to block the sale despite the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to allow it.

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