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    Chevron Reports Progress on Unocal Deal

    Companies report reaching agreement with FTC.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Chevron Corp. and Unocal Corp. reached an agreement with Federal Trade Commission staff yesterday on a proposed settlement that would allow their proposed merger to close, the companies announced.

    The settlement would end a long-standing legal fight between Unocal and the FTC over the energy company's rights to a patent for reformulated gasoline.

    “The terms of the settlement relate exclusively to Unocal's intellectual property for reformulated gasoline, which has been the subject of ongoing litigation between Unocal and the FTC,” the California-based oil companies said in a statement.

    Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company after Exxon Mobil Corp., agreed to buy Unocal in early April for $18 billion in stock, cash and debt.

    The merger, in addition to regulatory clearance, still needs approval from Unocal shareholders.

    Unocal, based in El Segundo, Calif., claims several patents on reformulated gasoline, a fuel developed in the 1990s to meet strict California and federal emissions laws.

    Several U.S. refiners have challenged Unocal's RFG patents and the lucrative royalty rights that accompany them, launching a string of court battles that go back to the mid-1990s.

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