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    Court Approves Flying J/Pilot Merger

    The new agreement would benefit Flying J by expanding its reach of TCH's fuel card.

    IRVINE, Calif. -- A bankruptcy court approved Flying J's request to merge with Pilot Travel Centers, according to reports by NATSO, the truck stop and travel group, Truckinginfo.com reported.

    Under the agreement, Flying J will dismiss antitrust litigation against Pilot, while Pilot must agree to accept Flying J's TCH (Transportation Clearing House) fuel cards at locations owned by Pilot or leased and managed by Pilot, with the exception of its convenience stores.

    In February 2006, Flying J filed suit against Pilot and others, alleging they boycotted Flying J fuel cards. Since then, Flying J accumulated more than $10 million in legal fees and costs in the lawsuit.

    The new agreement would benefit Flying J by expanding its reach of TCH's fuel card, according to Barre Burgon, the company's corporate counsel. This will "allow TCH to compete against Comdata Corp., its principal rival in the trucker fuel card industry and holder of a market share of nearly 70 percent," he said. Comdata is also a target of the antitrust suit.

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