U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Charles Schumer, has called upon the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate potential anti-competitive consequences arising from the recent multi-billion dollar acquisitions by oil and gas titans Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp.
Earlier this month, Exxon proposed a $60 billion buyout of Pioneer Natural Resources, while Chevron agreed on a $53 billion acquisition of Hess, according to Reuters.
Schumer, a Democratic Senate leader, expressed concerns in a letter, labeling these deals as among the largest in the oil and gas sector this century. He asserted that these acquisitions, consolidating operations in vital oil-and-gas fields, could harm competition, potentially leading to increased consumer prices and reduced output across the United States. These mergers come as U.S. oil and gas companies focus on fossil fuel investments, diverging from European counterparts’ emphasis on renewable fuels.
Both Chevron and Exxon have reported significant profits due to robust energy prices and demand following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Schumer emphasized the need for the FTC to scrutinize past anti-competitive mergers involving major oil conglomerates like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, raising the possibility of breaking up these energy giants. Several other Democratic lawmakers joined Schumer in signing the letter, underlining bipartisan concerns regarding the impact of these mega-deals on market competition.