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March 28, 2015

Barry Pulliam consulted with the State of Alaska

Barry Pulliam consulted with the State of Alaska regarding the potential competitive impact of Crowley Marine Services Inc.’s acquisition of Yukon Fuels. Both firms provided transportation services and sold petroleum products to a number of regional utilities and to cities and communities in Western Alaska, including the City of Bethel. After its investigation, the State of Alaska required the parties to divest some storage and distribution assets as part of a consent decree. The City of Bethel and eight utilities opposed the acquisition in Alaska Superior Court, arguing that the consent decree would not be sufficient to prevent price increases to consumers in Western Alaska. They argued that there were significant entry barriers involved in providing barge-delivered petroleum services to Western Alaskan cities and communities that would allow Crowley to dominate the market and raise prices. Barry Pulliam recently testified on behalf of the State of Alaska in support of the consent decree during a hearing in Superior Court in Anchorage. His testimony included the conclusion that the consent decree adequately addressed the competitive concerns identified in the investigation, including the potential entry barrier concerns raised by the city of Bethel and the eight utilities. The Court ruled in favor of the State. After the hearing, the utilities attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order in Federal Court preventing the acquisition from proceeding. Their request was denied

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