FTC Approves Natural Gas Pipeline Company’s Request for Removal from Acquisition-Related Order

In a press release issued last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced approval of the DTE Energy Company’s (DTE) petition to modify a 2019 order allowing NEXUS Gas Transmission LLC (Nexus) to acquire Generation Pipeline LLC with certain conditions. The announcement explained that DTE sought removal from the order because it had spun off all of its shares and assets in Generation Pipeline, a 25-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas to residents in the Toledo, Ohio area.

DTE is a Detroit, Michigan-based energy company that works to develop and manage energy-related businesses and services, its website says, while Nexus is a 256-mile transmission pipeline that sends natural gas from eastern Ohio to southeastern Michigan.

The FTC investigated the merger and found that it would improperly restrain trade as proposed. Its 2019 order addressed the competition concerns by first requiring the parties to eliminate a non-compete clause from their sales agreement. Second, it prohibited Nexus, DTE, and Enbridge from “participating in any agreement that restricts competition with another provider of natural gas pipeline transportation in parts of the Ohio counties of Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood.”

DTE petitioned for removal from the order, arguing that it sold its non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage, and gathering business, including its stake in Nexus, to another company, DT Midstream Inc. Consequently, DTE no longer had natural gas pipeline transportation assets in the specified counties. 

The FTC agreed. Further, it said that as DTE’s successor, DT Midstream confirmed its assent to the order and agreed to comply with the requirements. As such, the FTC reported that it voted unanimously to approve DTE’s petition.