Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Year Resolved


Settlement Amount



United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

Docket Number


Lead State


Participating States



Marathon Petrolcum Company, LP

Case Description

State filed suit against Marathon, alleging Marathon engaged in anti-competitive practices that lead to higher gas prices for Kentucky consumers in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. State alleged that Marathon abused its monopoly position after its merger with Ashland Oil in 1998. The state alleged, among other actions, that Marathon requires some retailers, thought its supply agreements, to purchase 100 percent of their RFG from Marathon, with penalties if the retailers fail to do so. The agreements also prohibit unbranded retailers from challenging Marathon’s pricing. According to the complaint, Marathon further reduces competition by adding deed restrictions to some of the property parcels it sells that prohibit the purchaser of the property from selling gas or operating a convenience store. Some of the restrictions have an exception that will allow for development of a gas station if the station sells only Marathon gas. State sought injunctive relief, civil penalties of $2000 per violation, restitution to citizens and to the state and attorneys’ fees. Defendants moved to disqualify the outside counsel retained by the state on the grounds that the contingent fee arrangement was improper. Although the court initially denied Marathon’s motion to dismiss as to the federal antitrust, state antitrust and deceptive practices claims, the court eventually excluded the testimony of the state’s expert witness and dismissed the state’s case.