The FTC's price worries

The oil consumer has returned to US politics. Concern about the possible effects on retail oil prices lies at the core of federal objections to BP Amoco PLC's proposed acquisition of Atlantic Richfield Co.It is, of course, appropriate for the Federal Trade Commission to concern itself with the price effects of business consolidation. That is the essence of antitrust regulation.It is important, however, for the FTC to base its decisions on proper assumptions about oil markets and the interests of consumers. In the rationale provided for resisting the acquisition of ARCO by BP Amoco, FTC's assumptions seem rigid.A crimped viewCompanies involved in the dispute will have to make their...

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