WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 19 that Seven & i Holdings Ltd., the parent company of 7-Eleven convenience stores that is based in Tokyo, will divest select retail fuel outlets in order to complete its proposed $3.3 billion acquisition of about 1,100 retail fuel outlets from Sunoco.

The FTC had alleged the acquisition would violate federal antitrust laws by harming competition in 76 local markets throughout 20 metropolitan statistical areas. In order to remedy the FTC’s complaints, 7-Eleven will sell 26 retail fuel outlets that it owns to Sunoco. Additionally, Sunoco will retain 33 of the fuel outlets it would have otherwise sold to 7-Eleven as part of the acquisition.

According to the FTC, retail fuel station competition is highly localized with few consumers willing to travel significant distances to purchase gas. In the 76 local markets throughout the United States, the market would have become overly concentrated without the divestitures.

The FTC voted 2-0 to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order that will go before public comment until Feb. 20. Afterward, the agency will determine whether it will finalize the proposed consent order.

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