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Archived — Competition Bureau approves deal to inject more competition into Southern Ontario gas market

OTTAWA, August 27, 2009 — The Competition Bureau announced today that Ultramar Ltd. has been approved as the acquirer of terminal storage and distribution capacity required to be provided by Suncor Energy Inc., as part of a remedy addressing competition concerns raised by the Bureau over the merger of Suncor and Petro-Canada.

Ultramar will acquire the capacity under the terms of a consent agreement between the Competition Bureau and Suncor and Petro-Canada signed in July 2009. The Bureau required Suncor to supply 1.1 billion litres of terminal and distribution capacity for refined petroleum products in the Greater Toronto Area for a period of 10 years. Suncor has now entered into terminalling agreements with Ultramar for all of that capacity for the full 10-year period.

"The acquisition of terminal storage and distribution capacity by Ultramar is an important milestone," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. "We believe that this agreement will be an effective remedy to the substantial lessening of competition that the Bureau concluded was likely in the market for wholesale gasoline in Southern Ontario and the GTA."

By acquiring long-term access to significant volumes of storage and distribution capacity in the GTA, Ultramar will have the ability to expand its presence in the wholesale market and compete to supply gasoline to independent marketers in Southern Ontario. Previous agreements between Suncor and Ultramar for terminal and distribution capacity in the GTA had expired or were about to expire, and were for less capacity than was required to be made available under the consent agreement. Ultramar, a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, is a significant refiner in the province of Quebec, and a wholesale marketer of refined petroleum products.

In addition to the obligations concerning terminal storage and distribution capacity, the Consent Agreement requires Suncor to divest 104 retail gas stations in markets in southern Ontario in which the Bureau concluded that the merger would have potentially lessened competition substantially. The sale process for these retail gas stations is ongoing.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

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