Exxon CEO dismisses worries FTC could hold up Pioneer deal, does not see competition concerns

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Darren Wood, CEO of Exxon Mobil, speaking on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Dec. 7th, 2023. 

Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods on Thursday dismissed worries that the Federal Trade Commission could hold up the oil giant’s pending acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources.

“I don’t think there’s any angle that you can look at this potential combination and find any concerns about competition,” Woods told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” in an exclusive interview.

Woods said that while the $60 billion deal appears large, the transaction is small in the context of the broader U.S. oil market. He said oil production from the acquisition of Pioneer would amount to less than 5% of the U.S. total.

The FTC sought additional information from Exxon this week on the acquisition. Woods said Exxon will respond as quickly as possible: “We think it’s reasonable to take a look” he said of the FTC probe.

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and more than 20 of his Democratic colleagues called on the FTC to scrutinize Exxon’s acquisition as well as Chevron’s deal to buy Hess for $53 billion.

The senators argued the deals could lead to higher gas prices for Americans.

“These deals have all the hallmarks of harmful, anticompetitive effect, and if they’re allowed to happen, Americans could see the consequences through higher prices at the pump,” Schumer said in Senate speech last month.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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