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

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The head of the Federal Trade Commission said his agency is "keenly aware" of record-high gas prices in California, and will not hesitate to pursue any violations of antitrust and anti-manipulation laws.

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

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that "the commission is keenly aware of recent gasoline price spikes in California."

"We are committed to ensuring competitive energy markets through the enforcement of the antitrust laws," he said. "If we see a violation of the laws that we enforce, we won't hesitate to act."

(Reporting By Karey Wutkowski)

((karey.wutkowski@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: CALIFORNIA GASOLINE/FTC