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    Preliminary Injunction Scheduled for Western Refining, Giant Industries Merger

    Hearing requested by the companies in response to FTC's rejection of the proposed merger.

    EL PASO, Texas, and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The New Mexico U.S. District Court scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing to begin on May 7, as requested by refining and marketing companies Western Refining and Giant Industries, concerning the litigation filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on their proposed merger.

    In November, the two companies agreed that Western will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Giant for $77 per share in cash. In late February, Giant's shareholders approved the transaction.

    Last week, CSNews Online reported that federal regulators said they would seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop Western's $1.13 billion acquisition of its rival, Giant.

    In its statement, the FTC said that such a purchase would result in reduced competition for the bulk supply of light petroleum products, including gasoline, in northern New Mexico.

    "Western's acquisition of Giant would eliminate this competition, leading to higher prices for consumers of these important energy products," Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a written statement.

    Later, the two companies announced they planned to challenge the FTC's rejection of the two companies' planned merger. Western and Giant described the FTC's decision as being "without basis in fact or law.”

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