Superior/Canexus, In the Matter of

Last Updated:
In the Matter of Superior Plus Corporation, a corporation, and Canexus Corporation, a corporation
FTC Matter/File Number:

161 0020

Docket Number:

9371

Case Summary

The FTC filed an administrative complaint charging that the proposed $982 million merger of Canadian chemical suppliers Superior Plus Corp. and Canexus Corp. would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in the North American market for sodium chlorate – a commodity chemical used to bleach wood pulp that is then processed into paper, tissue, diaper liners, and other products. Superior and Canexus are two of the three major producers of sodium chlorate in North America. If the merger takes place, the new company and rival AkzoNobel will control approximately 80 percent of the total sodium chlorate production capacity in North America.  By combining more than half of all North American sodium chlorate production capacity in the merged Superior and Canexus, the acquisition is likely to lead to anticompetitive reductions in output and higher prices, the complaint alleges. Additionally, by removing Canexus as an independent sodium chlorate producer, with its large scale and low-costs, the acquisition will also increase the likelihood of coordination in an already vulnerable market, according to the complaint.  The FTC also authorized staff to seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the parties from consummating the merger and to maintain the status quo pending the administrative proceeding. The FTC and the Canadian Competition Bureau collaborated in this investigation.  On June 30, the parties abandoned their plans.