FTC Seeks Public Comment on Dow Chemicals Application to Modify Terms of its 2009 Settlement Regarding Dows Acquisition of Rohm & Haas

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by the Dow Chemical Company to modify the terms of a settlement it reached with the FTC in 2009. The settlement resolved the agency’s concerns about how Dow’s acquisition of Rohm and Haas Company would affect competition in the markets for acrylics and other industrial chemicals that are used to make coated paper products, paints, and adhesive.

The final order settling the case includes a requirement that Dow sell its acrylic latex plant in Torrance, California. According to Dow’s application, however, Arkema Inc, the FTC-approved buyer of the acrylic acid business and the latex polymers business, did not want to buy the entire Torrance site at the time it was sold. Instead, Arkema bought the plant but agreed to a long-term lease with an option to buy only the portion of the property where the plant is located. In its application, Dow says that it has tried unsuccessfully to sell the whole site, as required by the FTC order and that it has not yet obtained the approval it needs to subdivide the site so a portion of it can be sold to a third party.

Dow is now requesting that the order be modified to eliminate its obligation to sell the entire site. If the FTC decides not to modify the order as requested, Dow asks that it be granted a three-year extension of time to complete the divestiture of the Torrance site so it can complete the process of obtaining approval to subdivide the property.

The Commission is accepting public comments on Dow’s application until March 28, 2011, after which it will decide whether to approve the modified order. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To file a comment, click on: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/rohmandhaaspetition and follow the instructions at that site. Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 081-0214, Docket No. C-4243; the staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated January 23, 2009.)

Copies of the document mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 8.5.2011.wpd)

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