Warren Buffett reverses plans to buy $ 1.3 billion pipeline to avoid antitrust – and shows how rich and powerful see Washington’s growing regulatory threat

Washington is stepping up its antitrust laws, and billionaire investor Warren Buffet looks very good.

The subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway owner said Monday it plans to buy a $ 1.3 billion gas pipeline that operates in 16 states, including Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. These are areas where his subsidiary energy company also operates, as noted by CNN.

Berkshire Hathaway, which owns two pipelines serving customers in the same states, may have raised eyebrows from the Federal Trade Commission, which the company and the pipeline seller acknowledged in a press release Monday.

“The decision is the result of ongoing uncertainty surrounding the clearance by the Federal Trade Commission under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976,” said Dominion, which is expected to sell Questar pipes to the company.

Dominion said it had already sold gas transmission and storage assets to Berkshire in November, a deal that will not be affected by the pipeline closure and is initially worth $ 4 billion, plus the $ 5.7 billion agreed by Berkshire Hathaway. to take on debt.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Dominion declined to comment on the story.

Both Buffett and Dominion, who withdrew from the pipeline deal, show that even the rich and powerful understand the regulatory threat posed today by the US government – especially the FTC.

The agency is now headed by Lina Khan, a highly critical technology whose extensive antitrust law has reshaped the modern antitrust debate. Khan, a Democrat, is accompanied by two other Democrats and two Republicans.

In addition to the FTC’s new make-up, lawmakers are also zeroing in on antitrust reform in the United States. Congress unveiled a package of five bills in June aimed at preventing big technology from becoming too big and powerful.

And just last week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to combat corporate integration or mergers in the U.S. economy, a move the government said would increase healthy competition.

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