FTC chair says 'keenly aware' of California gas price spike

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The head of the Federal TradeCommission said his agency is "keenly aware" of record-high gasprices in California, and will not hesitate to pursue anyviolations of antitrust and anti-manipulation laws.

Prices surged more than 50 cents a gallon last week andwholesale premiums rose nearly a dollar after refinery mishapspinched supplies. They have since fallen to around$4.65.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that "thecommission is keenly aware of recent gasoline price spikes inCalifornia."

"We are committed to ensuring competitive energy marketsthrough the enforcement of the antitrust laws," he said. "If wesee a violation of the laws that we enforce, we won't hesitateto act."

(Reporting By Karey Wutkowski)