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No Divestitures for Phillips?

Phillips Petroleum Co. does not expect to have to divest any assets as a result of antitrust investigations into its takeover of refiner Tosco Corp., company officials said.

Phillips told investors at a presentation yesterday that it "does not expect divestiture requirements" as a result of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) investigation into the merger, Reuters reported.

Oil mergers are facing closer antitrust scrutiny after strong rises in pump prices over the last 18 months and a succession of large-scale fusions producing energy giants such as Exxon Mobil and BP Amoco.

However, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in April he is concerned that Phillips' merger with Tosco may increase prices for the main crude oil used by U.S. West Coast refineries.

In buying Tosco, Phillips would get one Washington state and two California refineries through which it could process the 345,000 barrels of oil equivalent produced each day on Phillips' large Alaskan oil fields.

California's investigation into the deal will be incorporated into the wider FTC investigation, the Phillips official said. Phillips has said it expects to close the $7 billion merger with Tosco, struck in February, by the end of the third quarter this year.
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