Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Edith Ramirez issued the following statement regarding this week's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which upheld the FTC's Opinion and Order in the matter of Polypore International, Inc.
"The U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirms that Polypore's acquisition of Microporous was anticompetitive, and it ensures that consumers will benefit from continued vigorous competition in the market for battery components. Requiring Polypore to divest its former rival Microporous means there will be more opportunities for consumers to buy quality products at a lower cost."
In November 2010, the FTC ruled that Polypore, a North Carolina-based manufacturer of battery components, had illegally acquired Microporous Products L.P., a rival manufacturer. The Commission found that Polypore's acquisition of Microporous violated the antitrust laws by reducing competition in three of four North American markets for flooded lead-acid battery separators identified in a 2008 FTC staff complaint. The Commission decision was made after an administrative trial and an initial decision by an administrative law judge.
The Commission held that the consummated transaction led to decreased competition and higher prices in deep-cycle separators for batteries used primarily in golf carts; motive separators for batteries used primarily in forklifts; and automotive separators used in car batteries. Polypore was required to divest Microporous to an FTC-approved buyer within six months after the divestiture provisions of the Order became final. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholds the FTC's final Opinion and Order.
The FTC's Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.