FTC Closes Investigation of TransCanada’s Proposed Acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group

Mary Anne Mason of Crowell & Moring LLP retained Compass Lexecon economists Professor Janusz Ordover, Steven Peterson, Charles Augustine, and Stephen Makowka to analyze the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group (“CPG”) by TransCanada Corporation (“TransCanada”). TransCanada and CPG are two of the largest providers of natural gas pipeline and related natural gas storage services in the United States. The proposed transaction appeared to raise a number of horizontal concerns, such as increased concentration in the provision of gas transmission or storage services in certain areas where the CPG and TransCanada systems are geographically co-located. Working with the legal team at Crowell & Moring, Compass Lexecon’s economic analyses of the competitive effects of the proposed transaction showed that these concerns were unwarranted. In particular, our analyses showed that TransCanada’s storage and pipeline assets in the US do not constrain the pricing of CPG’s assets, and vice versa, even in areas where the pipeline systems overlap. In May 2016, the FTC terminated its investigation into the merger prior to issuing a second request, allowing the merger to proceed without conditions and ahead of anticipated timelines. In addition to Mary Anne Mason, Compass Lexecon worked closely with Olivier Antoine, Megan Wolf, and Daniel Leff of Crowell & Moring and CPG’s counsel Joseph Matelis of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.