On August 16, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a consent order resolving allegations surrounding natural gas producer EQT Corporation’s (“EQT”) proposed acquisition of certain natural gas assets from private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners (“Quantum”). The FTC alleged that the proposed acquisition would result in an illegal interlocking directorate in violation of Section 8 of the Clayton Act and, in combination with a pre-existing joint venture, an unfair method of competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act due to the potential for anticompetitive information exchange. In a statement accompanying the complaint and consent order, FTC Chair Lina Khan called the action “notable” because “it signals a return to the Commission’s prior approach of seeking binding prospective relief through consent orders” and “expands upon the remedies previously sought” for alleged violations of Section 8.1 The consent order delivers what the FTC describes as “ground-breaking structural relief,” including an agreement to prospectively prohibit the alleged interlock, dissolve a pre-existing joint venture, and obtain FTC prior approval over certain future director and officer appointments to other industry competitors.2

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