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ABA Antitrust Section to Examine Consumer Issues Facing Energy Industry at Houston Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2011 – Will President Obama’s new initiative to investigate oil and gasoline price manipulation find anything? Should we be concerned when oil companies collaborate to clean up an oil spill? Have there been too many mergers in the energy area?   These issues and many others will be addressed when the _ Section of Antitrust Law meets in Houston May 5 – 6 at its conference on Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues in the Energy Industry, held at the Hilton Americas-Houston.

This year’s conference commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark antitrust ruling that resulted in Standard Oil Company being divided into more than 30 different companies. The decision remains controversial, and the impact of the breakup on the industry and the development of antitrust law will be debated by leading industry experts and regulators during the meeting.

Highlights of this two-day program include:

“The Evolution and Direction of Antitrust in the Energy Industry: 100 Years Since Standard Oil Panelists will provide a historical analysis of the development of antitrust law, the impact of the Standard Oil case and government enforcement. In addition, they will address current criminal enforcement issues in the industry in light of the Marine Hose Prosecution, a cartel matter that began with arrests made during an energy industry conference in Houston in 2007.
May 5; 9 a.m. – noon

John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company and author of “Why We Hate the Oil Companies,” will deliver the keynote address at the luncheon May 5 from 12:45.– 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon panels on May 5 include discussions of jury attitudes toward energy companies; energy pricing, including market manipulation claims; and the impact of energy mergers.
May 6 panels include:

Competitor Collaborations: Joint Bidding Agreements, Joint Marketing Ventures, Joint Operating Agreements, Joint Oil Spill Response; When is there a Problem?”  Competitor collaborations may enable companies to achieve significant cost savings, obtain economies of scale or access resources that they might not be able to get on an individual basis.  Panelists will discuss the antitrust risks involved in competitor cooperation in key areas that impact energy companies.
8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

New Initiatives in Energy and Competition Outside our Borders: How is it Different in the Americas?”  Panelists will discuss competition law enforcement and international compliance with regulatory regimes.  Guests include government officials from Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

More information about the Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues in the Energy Industry conference and a complete agenda is available here.

Information about media credentialing is available here.  This event is free and open to members of the press.  To register, please contact /202/662-1097.

With more than 9,000 members, the ABA Section of Antitrust Law is the leading national forum for ongoing analysis of policies and developments affecting competition and consumer protection law.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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