STB Chairman Pledges Expeditious Review of Class I Acqusitions

U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin Oberman said on Wednesday that his agency will move expeditiously on two mergers involving North American Class 1 Railroads.

SurfaceThe STB will publish today in the Federal Register a notice announcing whether it will review the CSX acquisition of Pan American Railways as a “minor” or “significant” transaction.

CSX has asked the STB to review the deal as “minor,” which would mean it would receive less scrutiny from regulators.

Opponents want the acquisition to be deemed “significant” and thus give more exacting review.

In a statement, Oberman said the STB has exclusive authority to determine the scope of review of matters that come before it.

There is little doubt, though, that the STB considers the acquisition of Kansas City Southern by Canadian Pacific to be a “major” transaction.

Oberman said the CP-KCS deal will be the first “major” transaction to seek board approval in more than two decades.

“The agency intends to scrutinize the transactions carefully and diligently, in keeping with the applicable statutory and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

“Additionally, the agency is committed to moving forward expeditiously, while ensuring meaningful opportunities for public participation and stakeholder comment.”

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