FTC Acts to Prevent Interlocking Directorate Arrangement, Anticompetitive Information Exchange in EQT, Quantum Energy Deal

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The Federal Trade Commission today took action to resolve antitrust concerns surrounding a $5.2 billion cash-and-stock deal between private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners and natural gas producer EQT Corporation by approving a consent order that prevents entanglements between the two companies and the exchange of confidential, competitively sensitive information.

Quantum and EQT are direct competitors in the production and sale of natural gas in the Appalachian Basin, the largest natural gas-producing region in the United States. The proposed acquisition would make Quantum one of EQT’s largest shareholders and give Quantum – an active investor in natural gas production in the region – a seat on EQT’s board of directors, violating the antitrust laws and harming competition in this industry.

The FTC’s consent order delivers ground-breaking structural relief that prohibits Quantum from occupying an EQT board seat, requires Quantum to divest its EQT shares, prevents anticompetitive information exchange, unwinds a separate anticompetitive joint venture between the two entities, and imposes additional restraints to protect competition. This marks the FTC’s first case in 40 years that enforces Section 8 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits interlocking directorates, an arrangement that occurs when an officer or director of one firm simultaneously serves as an officer or director of a competing firm.  

“As originally structured, this deal would have resulted in an illegal interlocking directorate, facilitated the exchange of confidential and competitively sensitive information, and otherwise stifled competition in the Appalachian Basin,” said Nathan Soderstrom, Acting Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “The Commission’s order provides innovative and comprehensive relief to protect competition, as well as the millions of Americans who rely on Appalachian Basin natural gas to heat and power their homes.”

Under the proposed deal, EQT, the nation’s largest natural gas producer, would acquire Quantum Energy’s THQ Appalachia I, LLC, also known as Tug Hill, the eleventh largest Appalachian Basin natural gas producer. In addition, EQT would acquire Quantum Energy’s THQ-XcL Holdings I, LLC, also known as XcL Midstream, which transports and processes Tug Hill’s natural gas production.

In return, Quantum would acquire up to 55 million shares of EQT stock and become one of EQT’s largest shareholders. The proposed transaction also granted Quantum the right to an EQT board seat, to be held by Quantum’s CEO or another Quantum designee. As the FTC’s complaint states, this arrangement creates an illegal interlocking directorate, which violates Section 8 of the Clayton Act.

The FTC also alleges that, by making Quantum one of EQT’s largest shareholders, the deal would give Quantum the ability to sway EQT’s competitive decision-making and access EQT’s confidential and competitively sensitive information. By enabling Quantum to communicate directly with EQT, access and exchange confidential business information, and influence or direct EQT’s competitive actions or strategies, this arrangement would create an unfair method of competition in violation of the FTC Act, the FTC’s complaint states.

In addition to the proposed transaction, the FTC’s complaint addresses a pre-existing joint venture between EQT and Quantum called The Mineral Company, which is involved in purchasing mineral rights in the Appalachian Basin. According to the FTC’s complaint, this joint venture relationship raises additional concerns regarding anticompetitive information exchange and harms competition in the acquisition of mineral rights.

The FTC’s proposed consent order resolves the Commission’s concerns while also clearly signaling the antitrust risks of excessive entanglements and anticompetitive information exchange. Additionally, the consent order sets important Commission precedent on the application of Section 8 of the Clayton Act, Section 5 of the FTC Act, and the use of structural remedies to address these theories of harm.

Specifically, the consent order would resolve the Commission’s competition concerns through provisions that:

  • Prohibit Quantum from serving on EQT’s Board for the duration of the order and on the Board of any of the top seven Appalachian Basin natural gas producers, which account for a substantial majority of the market, without prior Commission approval.
  • Require Quantum to sell its EQT shares by a non-public date certain.
  • Require that during the period when Quantum owns EQT shares, the shares will be held in a voting trust, and any votes will be carried out by the trustee proportional to all other EQT shareholders.
  • Require that for the duration of the order, Quantum is prohibited from acquiring additional EQT shares absent prior Commission approval. 
  • Require Quantum and EQT immediately to unwind TMC, including any noncompete provisions. 
  • Impose further limitations on future entanglements between EQT and Quantum, including prohibiting Quantum and EQT from entering into noncompete agreements other than those in connection with and ancillary to the sale of a business, assets, or company. 
  • Require EQT and Quantum to each design, maintain, and operate an antitrust compliance program. 
  • Impose additional provisions designed to ensure the effectiveness of the consent order, including the appointment of a monitor to track compliance.

Further details about the order can be found in the analysis to aid public comment.

The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the consent agreement for public comment was 3-0. Chair Lina M. Khan issued a separate statement in which she was joined by Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro M. Bedoya. 

The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. Instructions for filing comments appear in the published notice. Comments must be received 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Once processed, comments will be posted on Regulations.gov.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2023/08/ftc-acts-prevent-interlocking-directorate-arrangement-anticompetitive-information-exchange-eqt

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Hanna Interpreting Services Awarded Comparably’s Best Company for Work-Life Balance

Hanna Interpreting Services, a premier language services provider, is proud to announce its recognition by Comparably as one of the best companies for work-life balance. This honor is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to employee well-being and its innovative approach to fostering a harmonious work environment.

Comparably’s accolade assesses factors such as employee satisfaction with work-life balance, average hours worked per day, lunch break lengths, and overall feelings of burnout. Hanna Interpreting Services' dedication to creating an environment that melds productivity with personal time has made it stand out in this evaluation.

A significant contributor to this balance is the company's hybrid working model, where employees merge the best of both worlds by working remotely for three weeks and in the office for one week every month. This flexibility allows team members to maintain their personal lives while still fostering in-person collaboration. Hanna also ranked among the top 35% of companies for diversity and in the top 40% for gender balance.

"It's a balance we've been striving to achieve, especially in these dynamic times," says President Tom Elias Hanna. "We understand the challenges presented by both remote work and the need to be in-office."

September is a monumental month for Hanna Interpreting Services. In addition to the Comparably award, the company celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 9, marking over a decade of industry leadership and commitment to bridging linguistic barriers. The month also saw the inauguration of a brand-new office space, showcasing the company’s dedication to growth and serving as a hub for innovation and team collaboration.

As Hanna Interpreting Services continues to evolve and set benchmarks in the industry, the core values remain consistent: a commitment to bridging language barriers, a dedication to employee well-being, and a vision to be the most trusted name in language services.

Founded in 2010 by mother and son duo Jennifer Hanna and Tom Elias Hanna in their garage, Hanna has grown to more than 70 employees, served 1.1 million clients to date in 250+ languages, and has sponsored countless outreach events to serve the local community.

For more information about Hanna Interpreting Services or to schedule an interview, please contact Sean Spicer, Revenue Operations Manager, at Sean.Spicer@HannaIS.com

Contact Information:
Sean Spicer
RevOps Manager
(619) 963-2331

Original Source: Hanna Interpreting Services Awarded Comparably's Best Company for Work-Life Balance

With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America’s Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting...

With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America’s Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting Impact
Boys 16U Soccer Finals

The Fort Lauderdale Maccabi Soccer team won their gold medal match against the Philadelphia team.

The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access, hosted by the David Posnack Jewish Community Center (DPJCC) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, have concluded with resounding success and heartfelt gratitude to the community that made it all possible. This week-long celebration of sports, camaraderie, and inclusivity has left a lasting impact, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our generous supporters.

Close to 2,000 Jewish teen athletes aged 12-16, representing communities worldwide, gathered in Fort Lauderdale to experience the joy of sports and the power of inclusion. The Games, presented by the JCC Association of North America, offered an unforgettable Olympic-style experience filled with competitions, opening and closing ceremonies, community service, social and cultural events, and opportunities to create Jewish connections that will last a lifetime.

One of the highlights of this year's event was the introduction of JCC Maccabi Access, brought to you by UKG and presented by the Posnack Family Foundation. This program is designed to provide athletes aged 12-18 with intellectual and developmental disabilities an inclusive Maccabi experience. This three-day program, held in conjunction with the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games®, exemplified the event's commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Scott Ehrlich, CEO of the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, reflected on the Games, stating, "We were overjoyed to welcome Jewish athletes from all corners of the world to Broward County for the 2023 JCC Maccabi® Games & Access. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to our JCC Maccabi Team led by our Co-Chairs, Lori and Mitch Green, Debby and Dennis Eisinger, Davia and Jim Mazur, and Missy and Dan Longman. Their unwavering commitment contributed significantly to establishing an atmosphere that nurtured camaraderie, inclusiveness, and the genuine essence of the Games."

The Games' success was significantly bolstered by the support of honorary co-chairs Scott Scherr, founder of Ultimate Software, and Scot Hunter, co-founder of Emerald Multi-Family Office. Their encouragement to business owners and the backing of corporate and community partners played a pivotal role in the event's success.

Supporting Corporate Sponsors:

  • Emerald Multi-Family Office
  • Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
  • Official Torch Sponsor: Duty-Free America
  • Kent Security
  • Official Beverage Sponsor: Coca-Cola 
  • The Meltzer Group
  • Official Transportation: Sponsor Comcast 
  • Official Media Partner: Clear Channel Outdoor 
  • Official Produce Sponsor: ProEx International
  • Official Pun, Pass, and Kick Sponsor: Miami Dolphins
  • Official Basketball Sponsor: Miami HEAT
  • Official Baseball Sponsor: Miami Marlins
  • Official Cleaning Company Sponsor: AK Building Services
  • Official Swimming Sponsor: Blavatnik Family Foundation 
  • Northland Investments
  • Official V-VIP Dinner Sponsor: Aroma Market & Catering
  • Custom Outfitters LLC
  • FP&L
  • Greenspoon Marder
  • Manne Foundation for Homeless Prevention
  • Official Mitzvah Sponsor: Children's Services Council of Broward County

The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access were not just about competition; they were also about giving back to the community. The JCC Cares Mitzvah Projects showcased the spirit of service, assembling over 1,000 Rosh Hashanah food baskets for Goodman JFS Seniors and Holocaust Survivors, donating over 2,500 pairs of new sneakers to students, in partnership with Children's Services Council of Broward County, and repurposing 340 medals for the "We Finish Together" organization, spreading kindness to ill children and adults in hospitals.

Among the highlights:

  • Approximately 10,000 spectators attended the Opening Ceremony at FLA Live Arena.
  • 1,620 visiting athletes.
  • 21 Access participants.
  • 375 Coaches & Chaperones.
  • 850 Community Volunteers.
  • 600 Host Families.
  • 215 Local Athletes & Access participants representing Team Fort Lauderdale.
  • 64 delegations, including international representation from Israel, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, and 53 cities throughout the USA.
  • 100 Local businesses and individuals generously supporting.
  • 110,000 bottles of Dasani water, Powerade, and soda provided by Coca-Cola.
  • 47,000 pounds of ice used.
  • 20,000 meals served.
  • 300 athletes and coaches wrapped tefillin daily.

As the Games came to a close, the resounding message was one of unity, inclusivity, and the power of community. The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access will be remembered not only for the athletic achievements but also for the lasting friendships, cultural exchanges, and shared experiences that will continue to enrich the lives of all those who participated.

For more information about the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access and how you can support future events, please visit dpjcc.org.

Contact Information:
Rixys Alfonso
Corporate Sponsorship Consultant

Scott Ehrlich
Chief Executive Officer
954-434-0499, ext. 313
Related Images
Boys 16U Soccer Finals
Boys 16U Soccer Finals

The Fort Lauderdale Maccabi Soccer team won their gold medal match against the Philadelphia team.

Ukrainian team with Stanley
Ukrainian team with Stanley

The Ukranian team, sponsored by the David Posnack JCC, poses with Stanley C. Panther at opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games & Access.

JCC Access Games Athlete & Coaches
JCC Access Games Athlete & Coaches

Nico poses with his coaches during a skill competition at the Maccabi Access games.

Original Source: With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America's Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting Impact
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