Part 2 Consents
Houghton International, Inc., the leading North American provider of hot rolling oil used to process aluminum, agreed to sell some of the assets it acquired in 2008 through its purchase of D.A. Stuart GmbH, a transaction that included multiple product markets. The FTC’s investigation found that Houghton’s acquisition of D.A. Stuart GmbH combined the two largest suppliers of aluminum hot rolling oil (AHRO) in North America, giving the combined firm control of almost 75 percent of the North American market. The FTC’s complaint alleges that, through its purchase of Stuart, Houghton could unilaterally raise AHRO prices to U.S. consumers. The complaint also alleges that the acquisition could decrease innovation for this vital input into aluminum manufacturing. Under the order settling the FTC’s charges, Houghton will sell Stuart’s AHRO business to Quaker Chemical Corporation.