The US District Court for the District of New Mexico has granted the FTC’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking Western Refining, Inc.’s proposed US$1.4 billion takeover of rival Giant Industries, Inc. pending completion of a preliminary injunction hearing. According to the FTC’s complaint, the acquisition, if consummated, would substantially reduce competition and cause higher prices for the bulk supply of light petroleum products, including automotive gasoline, to the Northern New Mexico market. The area allegedly affected by the proposed acquisition comprises 11 New Mexico counties, including Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The hearings on the FTC’s preliminary injunction began on May 7, 2007; the parties are awaiting the court’s ruling.