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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BP Under Fire in California

LOS ANGELES -- California Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked a Federal Court on Monday to block the takeover of Atlantic Richfield Co. by British oil company BP Amoco PLC, arguing the merger would raise West Coast oil prices.

Lockyer joined the federal government in opposition to the merger and the attorneys general of Washington and Oregon, who filed antitrust complaints against the $27 billion merger last week.

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday sued to block the merger, alleging in San Francisco District Court the deal would further strengthen BP Amoco's dominant position as the main seller of benchmark Alaska North Slope crude oil to the U.S. West Coast.

In a complaint filed in a San Francisco court, Lockyer charged the oil giant with selling ANS crude oil outside of the West Coast in an effort to reduce supplies and raise prices to the region. BP Amoco has denied that it uses ANS sales to the Far East to manipulate crude-oil sales to the West Coast.

California Governor Gray Davis had not taken a position on the merger, and does not necessarily side with the attorney general, a spokeswoman from his office said.